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Surgery for Lumbar Fracture

November 06, 2012
Group owner Richard Martine

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Surgery for Lumbar Fracture

By: Richard Martine   Post Date : November 06, 2012
The lumbar vertebrae are five vertebrae that make up the lower back and are attached to the strongest stabilizing muscles of the spine. Osteoporosis is the most common cause of lumbar spinal fractures but they can also occur from trauma such as falls and car accidents. Diseased, cancerous, or infected spines are also prone to lumbar fractures.

Surgery for lumbar fractures depends on their causes. A compression fracture is treated with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Kyphoplasty involves inserting a balloon into the compressed vertebrae and inflating it to allow cement to be injected. Vertebroplasty is a procedure similar to kyphoplasty without the use of the balloon. These two procedures are also used to treat fractures caused by spinal tumors.

Lumbar fractures caused by trauma are treated with surgery focused on stabilizing the spine, realigning the vertebrae, and preventing spinal cord injury. This is accomplished with bone grafts and instrumentation. A bone graft involves harvesting a piece of bone from the patient or a bone donor and placing it between two vertebrae to stimulate natural bone growth. It is held in place with rods, screws, and plates to stabilize the spine while healing takes place.

Fractures that occur in the lowest part of the lumbar spine where it meets the sacrum will likely result in disc damage. This will require decompression surgery in order to remove the damaged disc in order to take pressure off the spinal cord and nerves along with bone grafting and instrumentation to stabilize the spine.

Any type of lumbar fracture places the patient at risk for certain complications. Immobility can place the patient at risk for pressure sores and blood clots in the legs that can be fatal if they travel to the lungs. Surgical risks include failure of the spine to fuse properly, instrumentation failure, spinal fluid leakage and infections.

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