Cervical vertebral fracture

CLINICAL

The fracturing of one or more vertebrae, caused by sudden violent impacts, such as traffic accidents or severe sport or work injuries, is one of the most serious types of trauma that can affect the neck. Osteoporosis or cancer patients can also sustain fractures due to the weakness of the bone. In the event of injuring the spinal cord, varying degrees of paralysis can occur or even death.

SYMPTOMS

Vertebral fractures can result in severe pain, numbness, tingling in the arms and legs with loss of feeling, even paralysis, depending on the degree of severity and location of the fracture.

ORTHOTIC TREATMENT

The degree of severity of vertebral fracture determines the most appropriate treatment. Crush fractures can be treated with rigid cervical collars, whose function is to produce extensive immobilisation and distraction of the cervical segment to reduce intervertebral loads over a period of at least 8 weeks. In the case of major fractures of the vertebral bodies, it is necessary to use cervical traction orthoses with removable and adjustable occipital/mandibular supports, such as OMI-type cervical orthoses featuring an Indiana strap at the front, and
shoulder and chest supports. In cases in which the spinal cord has been affected by the injury, a halo-type cranial traction orthosis or surgery is necessary for stabilising treatment.