Spinal Fractures

The Kentucky Derby is exciting from a spectator’s point of view, but a jockey can be seriously injured if they fall off their horse during a race. They may fracture bones, get a concussion, and possibly suffer an internal injury. Spinal fractures are very serious because bone fragments can pinch and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord.

Spinal fractures and dislocations can pinch, compress, and even tear the spinal cord. 5-10% occur in the neck region, 64% occur in the low back, often at T12-L1. Symptoms include back or neck pain, numbness, tingling, muscle spasm, weakness, bowel/bladder changes, and paralysis. Not all fractures cause spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is rarely completely severed.

Spinal fractures are typically caused by an impactful event. 45% are from car accidents, 20% from falls, 15% from sports, 15% from acts of violence, and 5% from miscellaneous activities. Osteoporosis and spine tumors also contribute to fractures. The majority of spinal fractures occur in individuals between the age of 18 and 25. Men are four times more likely than women to experience the injury.

Be mindful of the dangers involving high risk sports. It makes for an exciting race or game, but the athletes involved are putting it all on the line for the thrill of the sport.

See the attached article for more details about spinal fracture diagnosis and treatment:  Spinal Fractures Info

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