For appointments or confidential discussion call
London Clinic 07776 511824
Norwich Clinic 01603 505063

The London Norwich Spine Clinic is based at
Hospital of St Johns & St Elizabeth, St Johns Wood, London
and the Spire Norwich Hospital, Norwich.
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Information for GPs

Your spine is one of the most important and complex parts of your body - keeping it healthy is vital if you want to lead an active and pain free life.

Fractures

Spinal fractures are usually the result of high velocity road accident, falls and contact sports. The spine can fail anywhere but the mobile segments of the cervical and thorco-lumbar areas are most vunerable. Inappropriate treatment can have devastating neurological consequences.

Causes

  • Trauma from the impact of a high-velocity accident like a car crash, fall or sports injury
  • Osteoporosis (especially in the elderly and in women)

Symptoms

These depend on where the injury is and how severe but can include:

  • Severe back or neck pain
  • Numbness, pins and needles, tingling, muscle spasm, weakness
  • Bowel and bladder changes
  • Paralysis

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination - although the spine may need to be kept in a neck or back brace
  • An X-ray, MRI scan or CT scan to reveal fracture site and damage

Read more about the investigations we use to assess spinal problems >

Treatment options

This begins with pain management and stabilising the injury to prevent further damage.

Braces and orthotics are used to maintain spinal alignment and immobilise the spine during healing.

Surgery

If the fracture is putting pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, surgery may be necessary so any damaged bone can be removed. If this leaves the spine unstable, it may then need to be strengthened and reconstructed using cages and plates.