A fractured spine is treated by surgery and bracing depending on the type and severity of the fracture, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. After treatment, the individual then needs to undergo rehab in order to regain mobility and strength.
A spine with a flexion fracture pattern, in which either the front of the vertebra or both the front and back of the vertebra breaks, is one of the most-stable spinal breaks, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The compression or axial burst fractures associated with this injury typically require bracing for up to 12 weeks. The fracture usually only requires surgery if is an axial burst, a break in both the front and back of the vertebrae, and is unstable.
A spine with an extension fracture pattern occurs when the vertebrae are pulled apart or distracted, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Depending on where the distraction occurs and the severity, bracing is an option. However, this type of break usually requires surgery.
Rotation fracture pattern breaks such as a transverse process or fracture-dislocation occur across the spine or horizontally, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The former is merely a break through the vertebra, while the latter includes the soft tissue as well and is less-stable. A fracture-dislocation can cause a great deal of nerve and spinal cord damage, and requires surgical treatment.