Fractures from Trauma

Spinal fractures are different than a broken arm or leg. A fracture of a spine vertebra can cause bone fragments to damage spinal nerves or the spinal cord.

A spinal fracture can occur from a fall, a car accident, or when an object impacts the spinal vertebrae with a force that it cannot withstand, so the bone cracks.

The most common type of spine fracture is a vertebral body compression fracture, which is downward force that shatters the structure of the vertebrae. If the force is great enough, it may send bone fragments into the spinal canal, called a burst fracture.

Most spinal fractures occur from severe trauma to the body from car accidents, falls, and other high impact force to the body. Injuries can range from spine vertebra fractures or as serious as debilitating spinal cord damage that can cause permanent paralysis.

Some smaller fractures can heal with physical therapy treatment and rest, however severe fractures will require surgery to reposition the bones and can include paralysis if the injury damaged the spinal cord. Spinal fractures and dislocations can pinch, compress, and even tear the spinal cord.

Fractures can occur anywhere along the spine, including the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas of the spine.



TriCities Spine in Bristol, TN is a by-product of discussions with case managers, rehab nurses and managed care experts on a local and national level who believe that spine care can be improved through a multidisciplinary team approach. TriCities Spine includes a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in spine, Dr. Jim Brasfield, teamed with a pain management specialist and spine-specialized physical therapy. TriCities Spine physicians already see a variety of complex cases from across Eastern Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. TriCities Spine emphasizes a nonsurgical approach to back pain, recognizing that in most cases spine surgery should be the last card to be played after nonsurgical options have been tried. About half of patients are referred to TriCities Spine by other doctors in the region. TriCities Spine also cares for those who injure themselves at the workplace. The strength of TriCities Spine lies in the medical expertise brought in by a variety of specialists who complement each other, including experts in physical medicine and neurosurgery. An internal pain specialist is often able to relieve some back and neck pain symptoms with special injections that enable a patient to bridge to therapy. Dr. Fred Terry specializes in pain relieving lumbar spinal injections and as well as myelograms, which may reveal the amount of damage in the spine. Therapists who specialize in spine use customized hands-on treatments to relieve pain symptoms, along with special exercises to help make the back stronger, more flexible and resistant to injury. If nonsurgical treatments are not successful, Dr. Jim Brasfield is trained and proficient in the latest techniques in minimally invasive spine surgery. Because of the minimally invasive techniques used by Dr. Brasfield, many patients are able to have their spine surgery and then return home the same day to recover in the comfort of their own home.