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Spine Fracture Fixation

Lumbar fracture fixation is a type of surgery that uses screws or plates to stabilise the vertebrae in the lumbar spine following a fracture. Fractures of lumbar vertebrae are caused by either severe trauma (motor vehicle accident, fall for height) or weakening of the bone. Osteoporosis is the usually the underlying cause of many lumbar fractures. Lumbar fracture fixation is often necessary when the fracture is unstable or when there is any loss of function because of bone pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

The types of lumbar spinal fractures include compression, flexion, extension, rotation and distraction fractures. The most common acute fractures are compression fractures which occur when the vertebrae in the spine collapse from their normal height. This is usually due to osteoporosis.

A lumbar fracture fixation will fix the bones together to stabilise the spine and relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Surgery and earlier physiotherapy can optimise your rehabilitation after a lumbar fracture by aiding your recovery and getting you back to your normal routine. Indication for surgery will depend on the type of fracture and the level of injury.