Diagnosis of Spinal Fractures

This Content Was Written For Your Tulsa Pain Doctor, Dr. Kris Parchuri

Spinal fractures occur when the normal vertebral body is “squashed”, or compressed in height. When the load on a vertebra exceeds its stability or inherent strength, the bone can collapse. Pain, limited mobility, height loss and spinal deformity are often the result. In severe cases, part of the vertebral body may protrude into the spinal canal and put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Organ function, including that of the bowel or bladder, also may be compromised. Vertebral compression fractures can happen for a number of reasons: trauma from a fall or a car accident; bone thinning due to osteoporosis or even the spread of a tumor into the spine. Knowing how to prevent, recognize and treat vertebral compression fractures is critical for maintaining good spinal health. Here is some information to help you learn more about this type of spinal injury.

Osteoporosis
There is no one single cause; however, the vast majority of vertebral compression fractures are the result of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to progressively become more thin and fragile. When bones are brittle, even everyday activities and minor traumas, such as lifting a laundry basket, missing a step, or even coughing or sneezing, can cause these tiny fractures.

Osteoporosis-related compression fractures can occur anywhere in the spine, but are most often found in the lower vertebrae of the upper back. The vertebral bone tends to collapse toward the front of the spine, creating wedge-shaped vertebrae that cause the spine to curve forward (kyphosis), eventually leading to the “dowager’s hump” frequently associated with the advanced stage of the disease. Learn more about osteoporosis.

Tumors
Tumors growing in or near the spine are another cause of compression fractures. Doctors frequently monitor those diagnosed with certain types of cancer, including multiple myeloma or lymphoma, for spinal breakage. Tumors also may spread to the spine as a result of cancer in other organs and areas of the body, such as the breasts, lungs and intestines.

Trauma
People with strong, healthy bones also can sustain compression fractures from a hard fall or blow to the back or torso. Vertebrae can withstand a good deal of shock; however, if the force on the spine is too great, they can break.

If you think you may have a compression fracture, see a Tulsa Pain Doctor. Here are some questions your Tulsa Pain Doctor may ask:
How long have you been in pain? Was the onset sudden or gradual?
Where is the pain located? What is the intensity?
Does the pain radiate to other parts of the body?
In what positions is the pain better or worse?
Is the pain getting worse or better over time?
Your doctor also may recommend one or more of the following diagnostic tests:

A spinal X-ray to determine the presence of a fracture.
An MRI to check for the age of the fracture and other abnormalities in the soft tissues, including nerves and ligaments.
A nuclear bone scan, another test that can determine the presence and/or age of a fracture.
DEXA scan

Stop Suffering from Back Pain Starting Today

This Content Was Written For Your Tulsa Pain Doctor, Dr. Kris Parchuri

If you’re living with chronic pain and you simply can’t perform the functions he used to be able to do, it’s time to see the expert Tulsa Spine Surgery team at Dr. Kris Parchuri D.O. We are dedicated to the people of Tulsa and we can help relieve the common chronic pains in your life such as back pain. Tulsa Spine Surgery has never been dealt with such expertise as it is with Dr. Kris Parchuri D.O.’s office. Trust us to relieve the pain in your life and get you back the lost years that you forfeited due to chronic pain. Our numbers 539-664-4448, and we would love to hear from you and set up a free consultation.

Back pain is a very common condition, but it’s not an actual disease. Rather, it is a broader description of more specific health issues that affect the back, neck and spine. Most common back pain issues resolve themselves, given enough time and rest. Over-the-counter pain medications can also help relieve the symptoms of back pain, allowing you to go about your day while you heal. Preventative medicine is an excellent start for proper back health. Staying in shape, keeping excess pounds off and lifting heavy items correctly can all reduce the incidences of back pain.

Rarely is surgery required for generalized back pain conditions. However, chronic back pain can indicate that something is wrong with the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and discs that make up the structure of your back. Persistent back pain can indicate that something is wrong with these structures. Most often, back pain occurs because you have strained the muscles or ligaments, have lifted something improperly or you made a sudden movement that caused something to pull. In more serious cases of back pain, you may be suffering from a bulging or ruptured disc, have pressure on a main nerve that causes a shooting pain through your lower extremities or have a misalignment in your spine, such as scoliosis. In cases where the pain is chronic, you should see Dr. Kris Parchuri D.O. to find out if the root cause is something that needs additional non-surgical or surgical intervention.

When you see Dr. Kris Parchuri D.O. for generalized back pain, you will receive a basic physical examination to test your mobility and ability to sit, stand, walk and lift your legs. These will help your provider see what triggers the pain as well as rule out specific causes. If the provider suspects there is a specific cause, such as a tumor, herniation, fracture or infection, additional tests may be required, including blood and urine tests, x-rays, MRI or CT scans, a bone scan or nerve studies.

We want to allow your body to heal properly and if the pain persists we may recommend physical therapy. If we have exhausted all options only then will we start talking about Tulsa spine surgery. It’s usually the last resort, and it will only be done if deemed absolutely necessary by the medical professionals here at our offices.