Home / Injuries of the spine: compression fractures, bruises, sprains / Fracture of the thoracic spine calving: symptoms, treatment, consequences

Fracture of the thoracic spine calving: symptoms, treatment, consequences

A fairly common cause of acute back pain is a fracture of the thoracic spine. When compared with fractures in other parts of the body, the damage to the vertebrae in the thoracic spine rare. Healthy bone tissue of the vertebrae has good strength and can withstand heavy loads, break it easy.

perelom grudnogo otdela pozvonochnika

And yet, of all types of spinal fractures in the thoracic injuries occur in 40-45% of cases. The problem can at any age with anyone. Most often damage occurs around 11 and 12 thoracic vertebra.


Cause of fracture of the thoracic vertebrae, as a rule, becomes trauma. For example, from a strong shock, drop, high loads. Often sold in car accidents, when playing sports, jumping in the water, physically heavy work. Usually associated with other injuries (ribs, chest, abdomen, pelvis). Most often occurs from a fall on the feet or buttocks, more rarely − in the fall of weights on the shoulders and upper back.

The predecessor of the fracture can become a disease, e.g., osteoporosis, tuberculosis of the bones or a tumor of the spine. The elderly fracture of the thoracic spine is more common as the bone tissue are not as durable and General state of health aggravates the fragility of the bone. Sometimes the elderly person badly enough to bend over, sneeze or cough to cause a fracture.


Depending on the severity and type of fracture, the symptoms can be very different from pronounced to subtle. Sometimes symptoms may not appear immediately, but after a few days.

proyavlenie pereloma pozvonochnika v grudnom otdele

The main symptoms are:

  • Pain in the region of injury (especially during movement, attempts to stand up or sit down, when pressing on the damaged area);
  • Chest pain;
  • Violation of motor functions of the spine;
  • The tension in the back muscles, especially the large round and trapezoidal muscle;
  • Possible visual deformity of the spine;
  • Changing breathing;
  • Pain or uncomfortable feeling in the abdomen;
  • Numbness of the skin;
  • Weakness in the limbs, paralysis of;
  • Around trauma can cause bruising and swelling.


Depending on the structure of fractures are:

  • Compression – is due to the strong mechanical pressing one vertebra to another. If a fracture of the thoracic vertebrae accompanied by damage to the sheath of the spinal cord, recovery may be delayed;
  • Rotary is accompanied by injury or displacement of the vertebrae, ligaments, discs and ribs;
  • Distraction – when this fracture occurs excessive stretching of the spine, which entails the rupture of the spinal muscles and intervertebral discs.

Types of fractures depending on the complications:

  • Uncomplicated (stable) – are not accompanied by trauma to the sheath of the spinal cord;
  • Complicated (unstable) – occur when sharp pieces of bone injure the sheath of the spinal cord and other tissues around. In these types of fractures increases the risk of disability of the patient and even possible death.

Other types:

  • Fractures can be single or multiple;
  • Traumatic − these are the fractures that were obtained as a result of trauma and pathology that are caused by disease.


To determine the exact cause of the pain, and to identify the degree of damage, in addition to history, it is necessary to make a diagnosis. It usually includes:

  • X-rays in two projections. Done with the patient lying on his back. Especially evident damage on the side picture. Using this technique the examination, the doctor can isolate the injury, determine the presence of shifted fragments, to see whether the geared spinal cord.
  • Computer tomography is done in doubtful cases, when complex or hidden injuries and in the presencetumors. This method gives the opportunity to see x-rays of the tissue layers of the spine.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging allows us to identify the consequences and the extent of the damage. This procedure gives to understand what causes pain in back and chest.
  • A blood test. A serious injury can change the indicators of the ESR and the level antinuclearnah antibodies.


Methods of treatment will depend on diagnosis, degree of injury and type of fracture. Mild compressor and a comminuted fracture of the patient undergoing conservative treatment, which includes:

  • Drug therapy. Used for pain control. Includes mostly anesthetics, NSAIDs and narcotic analgesics.
  • Traction of the spine under its own weight of the patient. The patient's shoulders are fixed to the edge of the couch, lifting her at the bedside. In this position, 6-8 weeks vertebrae straighten and heal as needed.
  • Traction for feet. Realize that if the fracture combined with dislocation. Lift the lower part of the bed. Fixed to the heel or to the femur load up to 15 kg. So the patient needs to lie to a complete reposition of the vertebrae into place.
  • Supporting the corset. Applied after traction of the spine to lock it to full recovery. If the previous methods of treatment used in the hospital, the corset is usually prescribed after discharge from the hospital.

In case of serious injuries, possible surgical intervention. Indications include compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, spinal instability, if the height of the vertebrae has changed by more than 50%.

Operation allows you to align the axis of the spine and height of the damaged area, to eliminate splinters which can injure the tissue around.


Being in a stationary state can lead to weakening of muscles of the back. It is very important after a full recovery to do gymnastics, which is able to quickly restore the muscles and ligaments.

reabilitaciya posle travmy pozvonochnika

Also appointed physiotherapy, which includes:

  • Massage is used to strengthen the frame of the muscles to improve the blood flow remove the pain.
  • Electrophoresis with the use of calcium to strengthen bones.
  • Inductothermy – removes inflammation and pain in the tissues.
  • UHF – improves blood flow and metabolism.

Possible complications

Improper treatment or the absence of it can develop problems:

  • Curvature of the spine;
  • The formation of the hump (especially this contributes to a fractured 12 vertebra);
  • Chronic pain in the spine;
  • Neurological disorders;
  • The occurrence of osteochondrosis.