Minnesota Burst Fracture Attorney

When the vertebral body is severely compressed, sometimes to the point of shattering into the surrounding tissue and spinal canal, it is a spinal injury called a burst fracture.  Burst fractures can result from a severe trauma in a car accident, truck accident or motor vehicle accident.

When a burst fracture occurs, the vertebral body edges become fragmented and spread out in various directions.  The spine loses its stability when the entire edges of the vertebral body is crushed.  Bruising on the spinal cord can occur from the bony fragments, causing loss of strength, sensation and reflexes below the level of the injury.  The different categories of burst fractures are:

  • degree the fragments have invaded the spinal canal
  • degree of vertebral height loss
  • the severity of the deformity
  • the extent of neurologic injury

If, at the scene of the accident, the victim complains of severe back pain, do not put them into a sitting position.  If the victim stands or walks with a burst fracture, it can increase their neurologic injury.

X-rays, CAT scans and MRI’s are required to diagnose burst fractures to determine:

  • type of fracture (compression, burst or fracture dislocation)
  • level of fracture
  • amount of spinal canal compromise
  • bleeding
  • ligament damage
  • spinal angulation
  • the amount of soft tissue trauma

Stable Burst Fracture

A burst fracture is considered stable and can be treated without surgery if it has little to no neurologic injury and the posterior column is uninjured and remains functional.  Using a brace as treatment can be very effective when it is worn for 8-12 weeks to ensure adequate healing.  Once the brace is removed, physical therapy will be required.

Unstable Burst Fracture

An unstable burst fracture is diagnosed if there is:

  • angulation of the spine is greater than 20 degrees
  • the spine is dislocated
  • neurological injury
  • greater than 30% spinal canal compromise
  • loss of more than 50% of anterior vertebral body height

We welcome your call today at 612-808-8999 (or fill out the free Case Evaluation Form) to help you through the legal issues of your Burst Fracture case.

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