I had a client who tripped and fell on a parking stop (bumper) in a shopping center parking lot and landed on her buttock. She was taken the the emergency room with complaints in her upper lower back the thoraco-lumbar area. She was evaluated, x-rayed, treated and released from the emergency room. The next day, she couldn't get out of bed and was brought back to the emergency room and x-rays were again taken.
I had another client who attended a function and the function had shuttles that took the people from the parking lot to the main building in golf carts. The guy was in the back of the cart and the driver didn't stop or slow down at a speed bump. When he went over the speed bump, the passenger left his seat and ran the top of his head into the hard canopy. He was shaken up and thought that he would be okay. The next day, the guy has excruciating back pain and cannot get out of bed. He is taken to the emergency room and x-rays were taken.
What do these two people have in common?
Here are the x-ray results:
Both these people had compression fractures in their backs. A compression fracture happens when the vertebral body collapses. These conditions can be quite debilitating. Generally, there are two types of compression fractures acute and chronic. An acute compression fracture usually happens with axial trauma (like the guy who hit his head). A chronic compression fracture is usually a result of osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bone).
Treatment of Compression Fractures
Some doctors will initially try rest, bracing, and medications to see if the pain will stop and patient's condition will clear up. Other doctors recommend a minimally invasive surgical procedure called vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty, where then inject a cement into the vertebral body, which supports the structure. Recently, there is a new treatment (kiva VCF treatment) that has come out where the doctor will deploy a coil into the vertebral body to provide structure to the area.
Money Damages for Compression Fractures
If you sustained a compression fracture because of someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to money damages, which may include
- Medical & hospital expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain & suffering
If you have any questions about a compression fracture following an accident, give us a call at (219) 874-4878.
x-ray attribution: “L4 compressionFracture2008” by James Heilman, MD – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L4_compressionFracture2008.jpg#mediaviewer/File:L4_compressionFracture2008.jpg