Trauma to the Spine

Spinal trauma results from significant physical injury sustained as a result of high energy impacts or falls. Motor vehicle accidents and common falls account for a large portion of spinal trauma.

These injuries can lead to compression of one or more vertebrae. Weakened bones (osteoporosis) can also lead to fracture at a low level of trauma.

A traumatic episode can result in the sudden onset of back pain.


  • Back pain after an incident
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Paralysis


  • High energy impact trauma
  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Falls
  • Weakened bones (Osteoporosis)


Nonsurgical Treatment

Pain medications, patience, and bracing are sometimes needed.

Surgery may be considered for those who do not improve.

Surgical Treatment

Lumbar Vertebral Body Replacement

If a vertebral body has been severely fractured in a traumatic event, the entire vertebral body may be replaced with a stabilized metal cage or bone strut. Instrumentation anchored to the surrounding vertebral bodies stabilizes the construct.

This surgical procedure involves removing all or a portion of the lamina, removing bone spurs and/or enlarging the foramen to relieve pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord.

Posterolateral Fusion

Often times, in addition to a decompression, your surgeon will perform an instrumented posterolateral fusion by inserting a series of rods and screws coupled with the placement of bone graft.

This fusion provides increased spinal stability depending on the severity of the injury.

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