A chance fracture of the spine is a medical emergency. Also known as a viscous fracture, this type of injury occurs in response to a sudden, unexpected movement that causes the spine to twist beyond its normal range of motion. It usually occurs when a person experiences a high-velocity accident, such as a car accident or a fall from a great height. Chance fractures of the spine can cause serious complications and can require careful treatment and management. This article will provide an overview of what chance fractures of the spine are, as well as their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What is a Chance Fracture?
A chance fracture of the spine is an injury that occurs when the spine is forced to twist beyond its normal range of motion. This type of fracture is also known as a viscous fracture and is often the result of a car accident, a major fall from a great height, or any other type of high-velocity trauma.
Chance fractures of the spine typically occur when the spine is subjected to a flexion-distraction force. This is a type of force that occurs when one part of the body pushes down on the spine, while another part of the body pulls up. This type of force can cause the spine to twist in unnatural ways, which can result in a chance fracture.
Chance fractures of the spine can occur anywhere along the spine, but they are most common in the thoracic and lumbar regions. This type of injury is rare in the cervical spine, as the cervical spine has more mobility and elasticity than the other areas of the spine.
Chance fractures of the spine can cause serious complications, such as nerve and spinal-cord damage. Depending on the location of the fracture, it is possible for the injured person to experience paralysis, loss of sensation, and even respiratory difficulty.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Chance fractures of the spine are typically diagnosed through a physical exam and imaging tests, such as X-rays and CT scans. Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment can range from in-home rest and physical therapy to surgery and even spinal-fusion surgery.
Since chance fractures are often the result of high-velocity trauma, it is important to take steps to prevent such injuries from occurring in the first place. Wearing a seat belt and avoiding high-velocity activities, such as skiing and sky-diving, can help reduce the risk of chance fractures of the spine.
People Also Ask
What are the signs of a chance fracture of the spine?
The signs of a chance fracture of the spine include back pain and stiffness, decreased range of motion, and loss of sensation in the affected area.
Can a chance fracture heal on its own?
Chance fractures of the spine usually require medical attention. In some cases, the bones may heal on their own with time, but it is important to seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
What is a flexion-distraction force?
A flexion-distraction force is a type of force that occurs when one part of the body pushes down on the spine, while another part of the body pulls up. It is often the cause of chance fractures of the spine.
How is a chance fracture treated?
A chance fracture of the spine is typically treated with rest, physical therapy, and medications. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Can a chance fracture cause paralysis?
Yes, a chance fracture of the spine can cause paralysis, depending on the location of the fracture and the extent of the injury.
Chance fractures of the spine are serious injuries that require quick and proper medical attention. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a chance fracture, and to take steps to prevent such injuries from occurring. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments of a chance fracture can help those who have suffered such an injury to seek the proper care and treatment.