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Old 04-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
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T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

This past December I broke my back after falling while hiking. At first I wasn't sure what had happened, but after a hospital visit and xray a few days later, I was told I had a compression fracture of my T7 vertebrae.

I wore a brace for about 2 months, which was supposed to help with the pain, but didn't at all.

Right now I am 4 months out from the injury date and still in a lot of pain. I take advil everyday. I've been a runner my whole life and cannot run without significant pain now.

I guess I'm just wondering, realistically, how long this is going to take to heal. Am I ever going to be able to run again?

I have done some PT, which I will continue in the next few weeks.

The written report from the x ray reads as follows:

Moderate wedge compression deformity or the T7 vertebral body with mild retropulsion of the superior endplate.

 
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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Re: T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

Welcome to the board.

Did you have a MRI at the time of the accident, or since? Have you consulted with a spine specialist? This would be either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who devotes his/her practice to issues of the neck and back.

It may be that something in addition to what was readily apparent on the X-ray happened to your spine, and it has not healed on its own.

There are different types of vertebral fractures. It may be that what you did has caused the space between the vertebrae to lessen,(the loss of vertebral height) resulting in some nerve pain. There are a couple procedures that can restore this height if this turns out to be the problem.

Since you are still in pain, I think it is time to get this checked out further.

Once your injury is healed, you should be able to return to running. If not treated, you run the risk of causing further degenerative issues down the road.

 
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

I have seen two doctors. Neither of them recommended surgery. They said they thought the injury would heal on its own with conservative treatment.

I will admit, I am a very active person, so I have probably been using it too much.

As far as I know, the disc is fine. I had an MRI done as well. Report as follows:

A moderate compression fracture of T7 as shown on prior x ray study. There is a concavity of the superior endplate with a linear fracture line and modest edema consistent with a subactute fracture. There is a slight convexity of the posterior cortex of T7 which only slightly indents the ventral aspect of the spinal cord. There are no abnormal signs within the cord....

And There is no evidence of focal disc herniation.

 
Old 04-04-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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Re: T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

Have you seen anyone recently? If the pain doesn't improve, you might want to have another consultation just to be sure there isn't something making more of an impact on the spinal cord.

Sounds like you need to restrict your activities until this injury is not generating pain. Otherwise, it may turn into something more chronic.

Running causes a great deal of stress on the spine, as I'm sure you know. You might want to switch to walking until you have recovered.

 
Old 04-05-2011, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

[QUOTE=SyntheticShadow;4722904]This past December I broke my back after falling while hiking. At first I wasn't sure what had happened, but after a hospital visit and xray a few days later, I was told I had a compression fracture of my T7 vertebrae.

I wore a brace for about 2 months, which was supposed to help with the pain, but didn't at all.

Right now I am 4 months out from the injury date and still in a lot of pain. I take advil everyday. I've been a runner my whole life and cannot run without significant pain now.

I guess I'm just wondering, realistically, how long this is going to take to heal. Am I ever going to be able to run again?

I have done some PT, which I will continue in the next few weeks.

The written report from the x ray reads as follows:

Moderate wedge compression deformity or the T7 vertebral body with mild retropulsion of the superior endplate.[/QUOTE]

In my days in the military I looked after the rehab of a couple of parachute regiments. Wedge fractures were common, especially when we had night jumps and couldn't see the ground comming up. Also had pilots who had to eject from jets, it was an explosive device in these days, not a rocket type as now. This is a painful condition but never saw one that didn't get better. Stay away from any surgeons, they are very short of work these days. Dont have any further tests done it may show something irrelvant and then you worry and the pain will get worse. As you are a hiker you are most likely well motivated and healthy to begin with which all helps.
James

 
Old 04-06-2011, 05:42 AM   #6
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Re: T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

Thanks for the replies everyone. I am pretty sure I want to avoid surgery since the recovery time from those sounds really long and both doctors have told me I should make a full recovery without any sort of operation.

Bottom line is it's just frustrating. Sounds like I just need to give it more time.

 
Old 04-06-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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Re: T7 Compression Fracture, 4 Months Out

[QUOTE=SyntheticShadow;4724224]Thanks for the replies everyone. I am pretty sure I want to avoid surgery since the recovery time from those sounds really long and both doctors have told me I should make a full recovery without any sort of operation.

Bottom line is it's just frustrating. Sounds like I just need to give it more time.[/QUOTE]

Hi. I agree that perhaps it would be informative to get another opinion from a spine specialist. That way you can be absolutely positive there are no other issues.

If there aren't, then the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to lay off all strenuous activity....no running, etc. A nice walk would be much better as it won't put additional pressure on that vertabrae. Resting it is the ticket to getting it to heal.

Best of luck to you....and please let us know how you are doing.

Carol
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