Maybe you were in a grocery store, big box store, department store, or a hotel and you fell hard on your buttocks. Unfortunately, embarrassment isn’t the only thing you may walk away with. You may have noticed your back was hurting after the slip and fall accident. Instead of brushing the pain off or assuming it will go away, it is important to know that you could be suffering from a spinal compression fracture.
What Is a Spinal Compression Fracture?
Spinal compression fractures, also known as vertebral compression fractures and wedge fractures, occur to victims of slip and fall accidents during hard falls on their buttocks. This is because falling in a sitting position can put downward pressure on the spine and cause the spine to bend and the head to be thrown forward.
While a lot of people assume compression fractures only occur to people with osteoporosis, traumatic injuries – such as those that occur in a slip and fall accident – can also be the cause of spinal fractures.
A compression fracture typically occurs in the lumbar and thoracic sections of the spine – most commonly in the lower vertebrae of the thoracic spine (the upper back) around the T10, T11, and T12 level of the spine.
Because stress is place on the front part of the spine, the front part of the bone collapses and creates a wedge-shaped vertebra. As a result, many people with compression fractures lose height because their spines are shorter. Additionally, compression fractures cause the spine shape to change and appear as if there is a hump or abnormal rounded curve to the spine.
Long-Term Impact of Compression Fractures
- Pain. People with compression fractures endure acute back pain that can even cause chronic pain.
- Changes in physical appearance. People with wedge fractures often have stooped posture and spinal curvature disorders, such as dowager’s hump or kyphosis. This also causes a loss of height.
- Weakened strength. Because people with vertebral fractures suffer spinal shape changes, it can lead to a permanent decrease in one’s back strength and loss of muscles.
- Change in self-image. Many people living with compression fractures often have poor self-esteem due to changes in their physical appearance.
- Changes in lifestyle. When back pain occurs, people likely can’t do the things they once did such as cook, clean, shop, and take care of themselves or others.
When a very serious compression fractures occurs, part of the bone fracture may protrude into the spinal canal and place pressure on the spinal cord. This may cause severe pain that cannot be ignored.
Whether you suffered a minor or severe spinal fractures caused by a slip and fall accident that wasn’t your fault, you need to seek legal advice to make sure you are compensated for your damages. Damages can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, loss of services, and more.
To find out what type of compensation you may be entitled to following a slip and fall injury, please contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 to speak with a knowledgeable slip and fall attorney in South Florida in a free consultation.