Spinal fractures

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.

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 (support made of especially sturdy foam) as a temporary support. In case of poor bone health, this will need to be prescribed for 6 to 12 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 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 from surgery quicker and be mobile earlier. After a few months, the scars will barely be visible.

Surgical treatment methods

  • Cervical spine injury: Surgical treatment
  • Thoracic or lumbar spine fracture: Surgical treatment
  • Spinal fracture surgery: Recovery time

Spinal fracture surgery: recovery time

The recovery time after spinal fracture surgery depends on the injury. A stable spinal fracture may heal in 6 to 12 weeks and 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 which vary from patient to patient. We guide you through the full treatment process and help you achieve a speedy recovery.

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 (support made of especially sturdy foam) for six weeks. In addition, we prescribe accompanying physiotherapy.

Conservative treatment methods

  • Thoracic or lumbar spine fracture: Treatment without surgery
  • Cervical spine fracture: Treatment without surgery