St. Louis Vertebral Fracture Lawyer
Fracturing a vertebrae in your spine can be a very painful experience and neurologic/nerve injury is common. The usual means by which this occurs is blunt trauma – a high energy force striking the back along the spine causing fracture of the underlying vertebrae. This injury can be seen in severe car crashes, particularly with a rollover accident with the neck being commonly injured. Other causes include:
- Falls, particularly in the elderly with weak bones or from a great height
- Gunshot wounds, due to a high impact penetrating traumatic force
- Contact sports
Mechanism of Injury
Injury occurs because of three possible mechanisms: compression and distraction. With a compressive injury, force exerted on top of the head or at the heels of the feet compresses the vertebrae and can crush the protective cushion disks between each vertebrae as well as some of the individual vertebrae. With a force that causes the neck to flex forward to an extreme angle, such as a sudden deceleration, the vertebrae can collide with one another along the front of the spine causing them to fracture at the site of contact – this is a distraction injury.
With a vertebral fracture the most common complaint will be back pain, often localized to a specific area of the back or neck. Also, you may have a decreased range of motion – in other words, you may not be able to twist, bend, and move your torso as much as normal. If nerve injury has occurred, you will notice pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in a certain area of your body that corresponds to the nerve injured.
Treatment and Prognosis
Treatment of a vertebral fracture will depend on the stability and severity of the injury. If the spine remains stable and no pieces of bone are displaced, the doctor will most likely recommend a brace for a designated time frame that will limit your movement while it heals. If the spine is not stable, if bone fragments have moved, or if the fracture has caused the bone to compress any nerves (uncommon, but you would feel weak or have numbness/tingling in the area affected by that nerve) then surgery may be needed to stabilize the spine.
Typically, people with a spine fracture are able to recover. However, with any bone injury, you are at risk of developing arthritis in that bone/joint at an early age.
Legal Experience You Can Rely On
Dealing with a a vertebral fracture presents many obstacles. Our St. Louis back injury attorneys will help hold negligent parties legally accountable for your injuries. Our lawyers have years of experience in cases involving back injuries caused by various accidents. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call our firm today at (314) 322-8515 for a free consultation.