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  • Compression Fracture - what is normal? Why can't I find help?

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    Old 03-12-2009, 02:07 PM   #1
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    Posts: 2
    Lostfalls HB User
    Question Compression Fracture - what is normal? Why can't I find help?

    Almost 6 months ago I was in a car accident, taken to ER, X-Ray showed a "mild fracture" of my T-12. I was given some meds, told me to get 4 days bed rest, gave me a pat on the head and sent home in a whole truck load of pain, the M shot didn't even touch it - just made me stoned enough that I shut up about it. Followed up with regular doctor, regularly, light activity only, but I was still in almost the same amount of pain 4 weeks later. MRI showed additional slight fractures of the T-3, T-4, & T-5 but doctor doesn't think they are related to the accident (I haven't (revised) done anything lately to break by back but whatever). Also showed a "slight" bulge just above T-12 but said it isn't big enough to cause me any pain.

    Doc starts me on PT which I have done religiously for 3.5 months - showed some initial improvement, then no more, still in pain - which is WAY worse at night when I am laying down (did the mattress thing, heat thing, all of that...) when I get up in the morning sometimes I fall down cause it hurts too much to move my legs. Have only had one pain-free night's sleep in almost 6 months. Back won't handle anything but light to moderate activity, or I will be laid up for 2 or 3 or more days. Tried the Tramadol & anti-depressant for a couple of weeks the pain was less, not gone but less. Then I went back to normal - Doc took me off the anti-depressant. Still taking pain pills/muscle relaxers everyday. Doc says I should be healed and doesn't know why I can still in pain. Refers me.

    Saw a Neurosurgeon the other week, filled his stupid questionnaire out - he took another x-ray first one that has been done since the accident, said my T-12 looked good and stable to him - said some of his compression fracture clients are in pain up to a year and a half after the break - said if I was still in pain in a year to give him a call back (A YEAR!? A Year and I will be in an institution if I am still in pain), was very short 5 minutes tops, had me bend over move my legs all that good stuff then said "sorry I can't help you" and shuffled me out the door! The guy was supposed to be one of the best in town?! I ask him about shots and other procedures he said those were for eldery compression fracture clients from bone loss or something... I'm only 30.... was like prying the lid off an old jar to get info out of him.

    Doc then referred me to a Physiatrist - but I am having a hard time finding one that will take "car accident" patients. sigh....

    Still in pain - don't know why Doctor Hot Shot wouldn't even so much as even talk to me. He acted like maybe I was over-exaggerating or lying....
    My doc sometimes acts like that.

    PT let me go - said they can't continue treating me if I am making no progress, even though PT was the only thing giving me some sort of "control" over the pain.

    Don't know what to do? Anyone out there been through this? I hear 6-8 weeks is normal healing time for compression fractures - then I hear no 12-18 weeks is normal. Then I hear a year and half?

    I don't care if my X-Rays show my T-12 is healed it still hurts - to the touch even, doesn't that mean anything?

    Last edited by Mod08; 03-13-2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Your post has been moved to the correct board. Thank you.

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    Old 03-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #2
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    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: USA
    Posts: 23
    abbeyg HB User
    Re: Compression Fracture - what is normal? Why can't I find help?

    I'm so sorry to hear you are still in pain. Have you had a bone density scan done to see what shape your bones are in?? I ask because I am 29 and I have a burst fracture to my T12 and compression fractures to my L2 and L5 due to a minor fall and osteoporosis. The pain is still unbearable at times I still take Hydrocodone even tho I am almost 7 months post surgery.

    I keep hearing 12 months too all the doctors think I will be "cured" once 12 months has passed.

    I wish you much luck with your recovery.

    Old 03-13-2009, 03:44 PM   #3
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    Posts: 2
    Lostfalls HB User
    Re: Compression Fracture - what is normal? Why can't I find help?

    Thanks - had a test done at work - not a bone scan, something less high tech that measured my bone density. Was within acceptable range for a female of my age (30).

    I had been pretty sick couple months prior to the accident double case of bronchitis - so I wasn't real active at all that fall leading up to the wreck, in fact I was still sick when the accident happened I remember coughing in the ER and screaming because it hurt my back so bad to cough (hubby held me & tried to muffle my scream) - don't know how I would've fractured those other vertebra, other than the accident. When I heard my doctor say that I thought it was one of the silliest things I'd heard lately - unless I broke my back laying on the couch!? LOL!

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