Fracture Dislocation of Vertebrae

File:Cervical Spine MRI showing degenerative changes closeup.jpg

Fracture Dislocation of Vertebrae

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. There are many different spinal injuries that people must watch out for, one of which being a fracture dislocation of the vertebra.

What is a Fracture Dislocation of the Vertebrae?

The spine is made up of numerous vertebra. These vertebrae sway back and forth, extend, flex, and bend to give people some mobility in their back. Sometimes, these vertebrae can experience trauma that both fractures and dislocates one or more of the vertebra, moving them out of alignment with the rest of the spine. These bone fractures are traumatic injuries which can potentially lead to the loss of motor and sensory functions.

Mechanism of Injury

The vast majority of dislocations result from motor vehicle accidents, such as auto accidents, or pedestrian accidents, and slip and fall situations. When the spine is exposed to sudden changes in momentum or direction, it has a potential to throw a vertebra of the spine out of position, possibly fracturing them in the process. Other possible causes include physical assault and sports-related injuries.

Treatment for a Spine Fracture Dislocation

The first step is to immobilize the neck to prevent any further injury. Then, imaging will be next. This allows physicians to get a better look at what is going on underneath the surface. Once the injury has been diagnosed, the physician will have to decide whether or not the vertebrae can be put back into place using a closed reduction. The doctors will also have to monitor a patient for any further complications that can arise from trauma to the peripheral nerves.

Potential Complications

A fracture dislocation of the spine has a potential to cause several different comorbidities, such as a decrease in the range of motion of the neck, loss of motor function, and chronic pain. If the cord has been damaged, there are additional complications that could develop as well.

Structures at Risk

As mentioned above, the spinal cord is the most important structure that could be at risk with a fracture dislocation of a vertebra. If the vertebrae move too far out of position, the spinal cord could be damaged or severed, leading to a significant loss of motor and sensory function depending on the level.

Differential Diagnosis

The differential diagnosis for a fracture dislocation of a vertebra is wide and includes:

Injury Prognosis

The prognosis is going to hinge on where in the spine a fracture dislocation is located and to what extent the dislocation has slid. The higher up the dislocation and the more out of place the vertebrae are, the more serious the injury.

Surgery is Possible

In the event that a dislocation is unable to be repaired using a closed reduction or that a fracture does not heal properly the first time, surgery can be used to permanently fix the injury. It is preferable to avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary due to the proximity to the spinal cord.

Contact a Compassionate Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Edward Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If you or a person you care about has suffered a fracture dislocation of a vertebra, please give my office a call at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

I am a member in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum of California state. We represent trial lawyers who have won verdicts and negotiated settlements worth over $1 Million dollars.

As a Sacramento personal injury lawyer, I’ve obtained the following verdicts and settlements.

A large number of my customer reviews and ratings are visible on Avvo, Yelp, and Google Plus.

Image Source: permission granted to produce and distribute this image under the Free Documentation License of GNU, version 1.2, from Wikimedia Commons

:dr bw [cs 643] cv

Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.