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    Old 09-26-2002, 12:50 PM   #1
    dofstad
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    Burst Fracture

    I was wondering if anyone here has dealt with a burst fracture of the vertebrae? My husband has a fracture of the L1 and we have lots of questions. Our doctor doesn't seem to give us much infromation. Surgery was NOT needed but he's been wearing a corsette like brace. Anyone else with this problem?

     
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    Old 09-26-2002, 01:56 PM   #2
    dofstad
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    That's my problem, I keep finding thing with all kinds of technical jargon, but nothing in plain laymans language! <IMG SRC="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif"> Thanks for the website, though. I'll check it out. I'm wanting information on length of recovery, limitations, long term prognosis etc.

     
    Old 09-26-2002, 05:11 PM   #3
    Jamy9840
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Ok, I've dug up some more info for ya. It looks like it might be related to osteoporosis. Ask your Doctor about that immediately, ok??? He could be put on something for osteoporsis right away.
    You have to be a member of medscape to get this info, but I've copied and pasted what I found on the internet.
    Jamy

    Interactive Case Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
    Read about 2 excellent treatment options for osteoporotic patients with vertebral compression fractures.

     
    Old 09-26-2002, 05:33 PM   #4
    dofstad
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Not osteoporosis, he just took a vey hard fall off a ladder. He was extremely lucky that is wasn't worse and narrowly escaped spinal cord damage. The doctor said the break was about as bad as he's seen without major nerve problems.

     
    Old 09-27-2002, 04:53 AM   #5
    jjkursed
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Hi,
    Finally somebody with the same problem as me. Nearly two years ago I was in a accident and had a burst L1. Compression was at about 30%. It was an unstable fracture means that the part that connects the bone to the spine was damaged as well. I had complete bedrest for about 2 weeks (only allow lie on my back, I was rolled to the side for a minute about 4 times a day to alleviate the pressure). I then had to wear a brace (corset like thing) which I wore for about 5 months. That started giving me trouble then so I was told that as I was young It would be better not to wear the brace for any longer.

    I was told by my doctor that as I had no nerve damage he felt that it would be too risky to operate on it. He has keep an eye on it and is happy with the progress I have made.

    I am still in pain, but nothing like the first few months. I have been told that I will suffer ongoing pain due to the extent of the injury. As my doctor put it I will continue to have good and bad days for the rest of my life.

    Regards JJkursed.

     
    Old 09-27-2002, 07:31 AM   #6
    Jamy9840
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Dofstad--did you read what jjkursed said??????? I'm glad someone could finally inform you a little bit.
    Jamy

     
    Old 09-27-2002, 02:14 PM   #7
    KrisL
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Like jjkursed Im also relieved to hear of someone with the same problem as mine.
    I also suffered a fractured L1 (4 months ago) and like you I would like to get more info from the doctors.

    I get different info every time.. The last "call" was that I would be having problems for at least 6 additional months..got this just a couple of weeks ago. Something I was not prepared for eventhough Ive been very persistant to get info.

    I dont know what specific questions you have but I can try to explain how I feel. Pain on and off (diffuse pain in whole back and shooting pain in pelvis/hip - no nerve damage though according to MRI) and crooked back due to muscles beeing tense in only one side.
    My doctor says this is not unusual at all and just wants me to continue training with my PT. I also have a brace (and painkillers).

    Other info Ive gotten is that some people get cronic pains after this injury but they do not think I will be one of them (because Im young, welltrained, non smoker, no previous backproblems, clean MRI bla bla..)
    Furthermore there is apperently a greater risk go get a herniated disc at the injured vertebrae, if back is stressed too much (like lifting heavy). No moving pianos :-)
    Backmuscles can also be "insufficient" for a while, they just get tired very fast - this is very true for me!
    I was vey worried that I didnt improve for 4 months, but as my doctor says - not unusual or alarming at this point. Ofcourse this info applies to my case, it might not be the same for your husband, but I hope the info helps somehow.

    /Kris

     
    Old 09-30-2002, 03:54 AM   #8
    jjkursed
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Hi Kris

    It took well over a year for my pain to settled down. I kept on getting different types of pains (weakness and stiffness in legs, buttocks pain, stinging pain in back, muscle spasams, dull aching pain). I did start P.T. until about 6 months after the accident because they didn't want to risk damaging anything. By doctor was worried about the Vertabra above and below L1 in case any damage happened to these. I have no disc space between T12 (i think, the one above L1) and L1 so this I think is the major cause of pain at the moment. I have limited lower back movement (about 60%) and can only bend forward as far as my knees (on a normal day). I have been told that the flexibility in my back should improve, I was also told that since its been nearly 2 years that there is no concern that my back would get any worse.

    Due to damage of L1, I know have a slight curve in my back (making me feel lop-sided). I was told that this shouldn't get any worse.

    I know how you feel about Doctor's lying to you. When I was admitted to hospital I was told by a junior doctor that I required surgery and would be home in 3 to 4 days. Then I was told by my doctor that I needed 2 weeks bedrest (lying on back all the time), then I would need to wear a brace. I was told that in 6 mths time I would back to normal, and have no trouble with my back. As time went on I was getting worried that I was stil in a lot of pain, and that My legs were hurting as well. I was told that my leg pain was symptomatic and would ease after a while. After about a year I was told that it was normal for me to be feeling pain and was nothing to worry about. Recently I was told that I would be pain for the rest of my life and there was nothing that could be done. I like you am young, non-smoker, healthy etc. I think they can't give a proper outlook on how you're going to be until they see how your injury progresses. Because my fracture was unstable they didn't know whether it would move up or down.

    Hope this helps.
    JJkursed

     
    Old 10-02-2002, 03:24 PM   #9
    KrisL
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    jjkursed, thanks for your information!

    What about your disc between T12 and L1, is it completely compressed since you got no discspace there?
    I can see if that gives you problems..

    Is your back curved back and forth or to the side? Mine is sort of "tilted" to the left. Apparently not unusual but my PT has never seen it before.
    I trust my PT more than my doctor and sometimes I wonder if the doctors just say something clever to make it seem like they know. Backproblems are just so complicated.

    May I ask what your PT does? Have you tried acupuncture and ultrasound for the pain? Would like to hear your experience with this.

    Hope to hear from you!
    /Kris

     
    Old 10-02-2002, 03:57 PM   #10
    dofstad
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Hi, all! I'm sorry I've been absent from my computer lately and haven't had much chance to rsspond to everybody's helpful messages. I appreciate everybody's input and will be looking to this forum for lots of information as my husband progresses with his healing. I realize everybody has unique situations and yes, backs truly are tricky, but it helps to have a place to bounce off others. I'm dissappointed to hear how long some of you have been battling these problems and hope my husband is more fortunate. Although his was a very bad fracture, I don't think his situation is as complicated as some of yours. The doctor said his was the "best of the worst" if that makes any sense...vertebrae shattered in 4 pieces, but broken anteriorly rather than posterior which is extremely lucky. He's just 7 weeks into it, so I guess time will tell.

     
    Old 10-04-2002, 02:32 AM   #11
    jjkursed
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    Re: Burst Fracture

    Hi KrislL,

    I am lop-sided to the right side. I went to an osteopath and he explained that my right leg and hip and moved upwards causing me to feel unbalanced to the right. He reckons that this happened in order to fill up the lost space on in my space (as L1 is now a wedge shape). When I got home from the hospital I was convinced that my right leg had got shorter and now I know why.

    I only did PT for about 6 months. I was having it as out patients treatment and they decided that once I the
    pain was getting any better that there was nothing more that they could do. They did manipulation for a while as all the bones below L1 started to move all as one bone and not individually. I didn't get much relief from this as about 2 hours after treatment all the bones just started moving as 1 again.

    At the moment to relieve pain, I do back muscle strengting exercises in order to strenghten the back muscles. I brought a book specially for back pain giving you exercises to strengthen the muscles and use this all the time. I also use a heated cushion to get rid of the dull aching pain, or shivers in the spine.

    I went to an osteopath to see if he could do anything to do relieve the pain. It was very helpful as he explained how my body had adjusted to the injury. Because your spine naturally curved as L1 if your fracture is unstable this will alter the natural curve of the back. My L1 still moves around as it not properly placed in the spine. I think this is what causes most of my flare ups.

    Regards
    JJkursed

     
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