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Fractures services offered in Chattanooga, TN

Fractures in the spine can be mild, requiring rest and medication for healing. More severe fractures, however, require surgery to prevent long-term complications, such as nerve damage, spinal cord injury, or paralysis. Accomplished neurosurgeon David A. Wiles, MD, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, evaluates spinal injuries and provides proper treatment if a fracture occurs. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more.

Fractures Q&A

What causes spinal fractures?


Spinal fractures can happen anywhere along the spine. They may result because of:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • Falls
  • High-velocity impact


If you’ve experienced any of these instances and have resulting back pain, get your spine evaluated for fractures.


People with spine tumors or osteoporosis are also vulnerable to fractures in the spine.

What are the different types of spinal fractures?


Spinal fractures can show up in several ways:

Compression fracture


A compression fracture usually occurs in cases of osteoporosis or other spine abnormalities. The back vertebr remains stable in a compression fracture, but the front vertebra deteriorates.

Axial burst fracture


If you experience a vertical impact or fall, the front and back of the vertebra can lose height, resulting in an axial burst fracture.

Chance fracture


A forward-flexed injury can cause vertebrae to pull apart. These fractures usually occur because of a car wreck.

What are the symptoms of a spinal fracture?


Not all spinal fractures cause damage to your spinal cord. Most cause pain that worsens with movement. 


Other common symptoms of a spinal fracture include:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Limb weakness or paralysis
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Uncontrolled muscle spasms 
  • Loss of bowel or urinary control


If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to the office of David A. Wiles, MD, to get an immediate evaluation.

How do you treat spinal fractures?


Once Dr. Wiles has diagnosed your fracture through imaging, such as X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), he’ll evaluate whether you need surgery according to the severity and location of the fracture. 


Minor fractures don’t always need surgery. They can heal with bracing, movement modifications, rest, and time. Severe fractures that are unstable or place pressure on the spinal cord may require surgery. 


Medications help with pain, blood pressure control, and management or bladder and bowel dysfunction. Physical therapy also helps you as you heal from a spinal fracture or from spine surgery. 


If you suspect you have a spine fracture or one has been diagnosed, reach out to the office of David A. Wiles, MD, by calling or booking an appointment online today.