Spinal Fracture Treatment
Spinal fracture treatment – surgery isn’t always necessary
We generally treat milder injuries to the spinal column using conservative methods – in other words, without surgery. However, when an individual vertebra is displaced or destroyed, for example, this may cause nerve or spinal cord injuries in the worst cases. In these instances, surgical treatment is necessary to restore the stability, load-bearing capacity and shape of the spine as quickly as possible.
Conservative treatment methods
Thoracic or lumbar spine fracture: treatment without surgery
If we can rule out any future misalignment or nerve damages, we do not use surgery to treat injuries in the thoracic or lumbar spine region.
Cervical spine fracture: treatment without surgery
If the injury is stable, it is immobilised using a soft cervical collar for six weeks. In addition, we prescribe accompanying physiotherapy.
Surgical treatment methods
Cervical spine injury: surgical treatment
Unstable fractures need to be operated on to prevent vertebrae displacing one another and potentially damaging the spinal cord. The damaged segments are fixed in place with screws or plates to eliminate further injuries to your spinal cord. For unstable injuries to the lower cervical spine, we remove the damaged discs and broken parts of the spine. We replace these with either pieces of bone from endogenous or foreign sources, or a titanium or plastic vertebral body. A titanium plate in the spinal column also improves stability. Fractures of the upper cervical spine are fixed using screws. After surgical stabilisation, you will need to wear a soft cervical collar as a temporary support. In case of poor bone health, this will need to be prescribed for six to twelve weeks.
Thoracic or lumbar spine fracture: surgical treatment
Around 80% of the load on our spine is carried by our frontal vertebrae. If an injury causes one or more vertebrae to be destroyed, these will need to be rebuilt through surgery. Thanks to modern spinal surgery methods, we can now correct and stabilise even the most severe injuries so that you can quickly become mobile and your spine can bear weight again.
Endoscopic methods relieve the spinal column
We carry out spinal column surgery using thoracoscopic surgical methods, meaning that only very small skin incisions are required. Our specialists use a special navigation system to operate with precision. We remove the broken spinal column pieces and torn discs. We then replace them with a titanium cage filled with endogenous bone substance, or with pieces of bone. A titanium plate is screwed onto the spinal column to further improve stability. Thanks to the small incisions, you’ll feel very little pain after the procedure. You’ll recover quicker and be mobile earlier. After a few months, the scars will barely be visible.
Spinal fracture surgery: recovery time
The recovery time after surgery depends on the injury. A stable spinal fracture may heal in six to twelve weeks. Depending on the amount of pain, patients can sometimes stand up again immediately after. For unstable fractures, the recovery time is dependent on many different factors. It varies from patient to patient. We will guide you through the full treatment process and help you achieve a speedy recovery.