Compression fracture in spine

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Jonny Rochester
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Compression fracture in spine

Postby Jonny Rochester » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:45 pm

Just wondering if anyone has similar experience and can let me know what to expect. Time to fully recover... things I can never do again etc...

Was in a mountain bike XC race, fell off all by myself, landed on my head very hard and fast. Stopped suddenly.

Result is a compression fracture in the thoracic spine at T7 or T8. And obviously the discs either side of that would not be too good either. Vertebre is compressed to 50% height on the front side, and that height will not grow back without an operation. The vertebre under it has some damage.

This was 8 weeks ago. I'm fine, been on the roadbike heaps. But I work as a mechanic so can not go back to work yet as any "work" gives back pain.

Iv'e had a MRI but heard nothing from the hospital since (public system).

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Re: Compression fracture in spine

Postby BoardRider » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:07 pm

Hi Jonny ,
best talk to spinal experts for advice . I wish you all the best in getting back to work, and recovering.
Board Rider

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
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Re: Compression fracture in spine

Postby winstonw » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:39 pm

Many people get compression fractures of the thoracic vertebrae and don't have function significantly curtailed - very common in old ladies with osteoporosis, of which many are unaware they had a fracture.

What's more important is the crush level at the posterior part of the vertebral body, though this is usually less than the front bit. THis bit is more likely to compromise the spinal cord and nerve roots. If you don't have anything wrong with the nerves to your legs, bowel, and bladder, then your prognosis is likely good.

The local pain may take weeks to months to stabilize or reduce significantly. I've seen people with worse multiple congruent thoracic compression fractures leave hospital after 3-4 days and go back to an unrestricted active life.

Considering you rely on your body to make a living, some would reason it is worth getting an extra 1 or 2 opinions from private orthopedic or neuro specialists about the prognosis.

My view is, if you landed fast and hard on your head, you want to think long and deep about how you'd be coping as a quadriplegic or paraplegic....because they are two very real alternative scenarios you could have been facing today.

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Jonny Rochester
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Location: Hobart

Re: Compression fracture in spine

Postby Jonny Rochester » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:39 am

Thanks alot for that.

I may give up XC racing and be a bit more cautious on the mountain bike, I am 39. Am I at higher risk now? I will probably still do some roadbike racing and the crits and just hope I don't fall off. I was able to ride my roadbike fairly fast only a week after the accident but was on painkillers and didn't realize I had a fracture at that point.

I would have been fine in a desk job but weeks ago I was only good for 20min physical work before needing a rest. And I would have to lift car and truck wheels etc. 9 weeks later I am better. Someone told me this injury was 12 weeks? I have a back brace I wear sometimes. I could last a few hours doing light duties wearing the brace, but it wouldn't look right for a mechanic wearing a medical brace.

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Re: Compression fracture in spine

Postby elantra » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:13 pm

With that sort of (serious) injury, you need to get expert advice.
Your GP should be able to recommend an appropriate specialist.
Public hospitals are good places to go to for ambulance situations and emergencies, but you will probably need to see a private specialist for some solid advice about what comes next.
(and if {very unlikely}- "surgery" is mentioned as an option-get a second opinion!)
Hope that helps and good luck mate,
"Technology gives us much more information but Education is never be able to give us the skill to evaluate it"

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