Spine Fractures

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The team of pediatric spine surgeons and specialists at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, offer advanced care for pediatric spine fracture patients in Tennessee and throughout the United States. The multi-disciplinary spine team at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital performs extensive spine evaluations and treatment.

The team of pediatric spine surgeons and specialists at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, offer advanced care for pediatric spine fracture patients in Tennessee and throughout the United States. The multi-disciplinary spine team at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital performs extensive spine evaluations and treatment.

A pediatric spine fracture is a break or crack in the vertebrae (bone segments) of the spine. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord.

Causes of Pediatric Spine Fractures

Pediatric spine fractures can be caused by:

  • Birth injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Diving accidents
  • Trampoline accidents
  • Violence

Pediatric Spine Fracture Symptoms

Symptoms of a pediatric spine fracture can vary, depending on the location of the fracture and its severity. Symptoms can include:

  • Back, leg and/or hip pain
  • Swelling
  • Inability to walk or move normally
  • Abnormal spine curvature
  • Decreased leg muscle strength
  • Paralysis

If you think your child might have a spine fracture, call 911 for emergency help. Do not attempt to move your child. The multi-disciplinary spine team at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital can perform an extensive evaluation to determine whether your child's symptoms are caused by a spine fracture.

Pediatric Spine Fracture Treatment

Your child's treatment will be determined by his or her age and health, and the location and extent of the fracture. Treatment may include:

  • A brace to align the spine and keep it from moving while the fracture heals
  • Medication to reduce pain
  • Manual realignment of the fractured bone. This can be done through an incision or without breaking the skin
  • Traction using pulleys, strings, weights and a metal frame to stretch muscles and tendons so the broken bone can realign and heal
  • Surgery to put broken bones back into place

Pediatric Spine Fracture Surgery

Surgery to stabilize the spine is called fusion. During this surgery one or more vertebra are joined together by placing bone grafts between them. Bone grafts are small pieces of bone taken from another area in the body. After the bone grafts are placed, metal rods and screws are used to hold the bones in place until they eventually fuse together.

Pediatric spine fracture surgery can be performed through an incision in the back or an incision in the abdomen.

Pediatric Spine Fracture Recovery

Your child will need to stay in the hospital for several days following pediatric spine fracture surgery. He or she will be given medication to control pain. Physical activity will be restricted for several weeks and your child may need to wear a brace for a few months. It's important to follow your orthopedic surgeon's recommendations for physical therapy to restore strength and function.

Most children make a full recovery following pediatric spine fracture surgery.

Choose Le Bonheur Children’s to Treat Spine Fractures

The pediatric spine and orthopedic surgeons at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital are among the most well respected pediatric surgeons in the United States. Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the Campbell Clinic Pediatric Spine Center is a center of excellence dedicated to the treatment and research of all pediatric spinal conditions, including spine fractures. All of our pediatric spine and orthopedic specialists are board certified and fellowship trained in pediatric orthopedics. Children from across the United States with spine fractures visit Le Bonheur Children’s each year to be treated here.