Traumatic vertebral fractures

Vertebrae can be damaged in various ways by accidents such as falls from heights, sports accidents of cyclists or riders, etc.

Serious fractures that are ‘instable’ and may lead to considerable deformations must of course be operated.

Major fractures with a distinct flattening of the vertebral body will require major open surgery because an artificial part will have to replace the vertebra.

Fracture of the 11th thoracic vertebra after a fall at horse

When the fracture is less serious, one will be able to use balloon kyphoplasty to repair the vertebra. This is done in the same way as with vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis.

With younger patients, real ‘cement’ as is used for a/o hip prostheses will be used less frequently, one will use 'biological' bone cement instead. This is then converted by the body into real bone material.

For more serious fractures, combining this technique with surgery and the use of screws and rods may be necessary. These screws and rods can also be applied percutaneously (through the skin) in a minimally invasive way without requiring a large incision.

Chez ces patients également, le rétablissement est plus rapide et on évite une immobilisation prolongée, des douleurs et un éventuel tassement supplémentaire de la vertèbre.

Above, a serious fracture of the 12th thoracic vertebra: recovery using balloon vertebroplasty and stabilisation with screws and rods. The picture on the right is the check-up radiography after six months: anatomic recovery of the vertebra, the patient is free of pain.

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