What is an unstable spinal injury?

What is an unstable spinal cord injury?

Spinal instability. Spinal instability is the excessive motion between vertebrae caused by stretched or torn ligaments and broken bone. Abnormal slipping and rubbing motions can cause pain and damage the spinal nerves or spinal cord. Stable fractures can usually be treated with bracing and rest.

What is unstable spine?

Spinal instability, also known as lumbar instability, describes a greater-than-normal range of motion between two vertebrae, resulting from a disc degenerating to the point that it becomes unable to support the weight of the body through that portion of the spine.

Are fractures stable or unstable?

Types of fractures include: Simple fractures in which the fractured pieces of bone are well aligned and stable. Unstable fractures are those in which fragments of the broken bone are misaligned and displaced. Open (compound) fractures are severe fractures in which the broken bones cut through the skin.

What are the three types of spinal cord injuries?

There are three types of complete spinal cord injuries:

  • Tetraplegia.
  • Paraplegia.
  • Triplegia.

How long does it take to walk after spinal cord injury?

The time period a patient needs to rehabilitate depends on the patient’s injury and ability to heal. Some patients can take a few weeks to regain the ability to walk, while others take several months or longer.

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What is cord syndrome?

Central cord syndrome (CCS) is an incomplete traumatic injury to the cervical spinal cord – the portion of the spinal cord that runs through the bones of the neck. This injury results in weakness in the arms more so than the legs.

How do you fix spinal instability?

How is spinal instability treated?

  1. Physical therapy to strengthen core muscles.
  2. Bracing.
  3. Medications/spinal injections to reduce swelling and inflammation of pinched nerves.
  4. Spinal fusion.

How do you test for spinal instability?

Rocking test also showed high sensitivity (95.56%) as well as high positive predictive value (93.47%). Hence, rocking test proved a strong clinical examination commodity for accurate diagnosis of lumbar instability.

Table 5.

Lumbar instability positive Lumbar instability negative
Rocking test negative 2 2

How do you know if a fracture is stable?

Stable: With a stable fracture, the broken ends of the bone are lined up and barely out of place. This type of fracture doesn’t require any type of realignment.


  1. Swelling and tenderness around the injury.
  2. Bruising.
  3. Deformity if a limb is out of place or protruding through the skin.

Do nondisplaced fractures need surgery?

Displaced fractures will likely require surgery because the bones are unstable while nondisplaced fractures normally only need to be immobilized in a cast for six weeks to properly heal.

What type of fractures need surgery?

Closed fracture – The skin remains unbroken. Displaced fracture – The bone fragments on each side of the break aren’t aligned, which may require surgery for complete healing. Comminuted fracture – The bone is broken into pieces, which may require surgery for complete healing.

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Can a damaged spinal cord be repaired?

Damage to the spinal cord rarely heals because the injured nerve cells fail to regenerate. The regrowth of their long nerve fibers is hindered by scar tissue and molecular processes inside the nerves.