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Thread: L2 Burst Fracture recovery and rehab?

  1. #1

    Red face L2 Burst Fracture recovery and rehab?

    I am in my 4rth week of non surgical recuperation for a L2 burst fracture from a fall out of a tree. With my back brace I have been walking somewhat normally since week 1. I returned to work after 2 weeks (Teacher) and have two young boys that I watch (with the help of my mother) at home in the evenings while my wife works. I am (was) very active before the accident and my question is....am I pushing it? I was off narcotics before I went back to work and I take an occasional NSAID and the pain never is higher than a 3 (out of 10). The pain was decreasing and it seems to have leveled off at a 1-2. I feel I am not improving. My PT has given me minimal exercises should I do more? Can I further worsen my condition? I have gotten out of bed a few times at night to go to the bathroom and not used my brace.....and help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    I am assuming that you have no neurologic impairment (damage to the spinal cord or cauda equina) since you do not mention any loss of sensation or paralysis, nor bowel or bladder problems.

    You should be wearing your brace whenever you are out of bed. We actually require the brace to be in place at all times, even when sleeping, as you really cannot turn right (log roll) in your sleep without putting the fracture site at risk.

    If your doctor cleared you for return to work and activities, then it is OK to do so. It will take some time for the pain to subside...several months is common. Continue with any prescribed therapy as well. Avoid NSAIDs for pain management as there is some indication that they interfere with bone healing. Tylenol is better.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member RJP's Avatar
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    Hi

    Just curious you said you have a L2 burst fractute? I have an L1 and am parlized from there down. Also you said you didint have surgery. Just asking to make sure you have the name for the right injury
    What ever doesn't kill you makes you stronger

  4. #4
    KLD, thanks for your response to my post. You mentioned "putting the fracture site at risk" and I was curious what you meant? Did you mean further compression and if so how does one further damage the site. It seems if there was risk involved for further damage then bed rest with the Lumbar curve supported for best healing should be prescribed. Why are you allowed to walk around if possible further damage resulting in surgery is possible?
    The reason I ask is that my doctor now wants to perform an operation called Anterior Corpectomy and I am not so sure that this is the answer. Today I went in for my 6 week check up and the x rays revealed more compression of my L2. It was 25mm night of accident, 3 days later with 1st load bearing x-ray 23mm and now 17mm approx. 5 weeks later. My Neurosurgeon sees a pattern and wants to operate can or should I wait the full 12 weeks to see if I can function properly without the surgery? Will secondary issues arise due to the kyphosis deformity? It stops at 17mm is that acceptable (or would you have to review the x-rays? I would very much appreciate your opinion. Currently I have little to no pain (no meds for 3 weeks) with slight to moderate discomfort. Should I wait? Thanks, Luke.

  5. #5
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    Good luck in your recovery and congrats on returning back to work.

  6. #6
    An anterior corpectomy is a BIG surgery. I would strongly recommend that you get at least a second if not a third opinion from reputable neurosurgeons and or orthopedic spine specialists before consenting to this surgery. As with any surgery, there is risk of further damage or complications, but if you have a worsening spinal instability/deformity, it may be that surgery is really your only option. You risk reinjury with even minor trauma or normal daily activities if your fracture site is unstable and progressive in its impingement of your cord or spinal roots.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Senior Member JEAPOW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldahlen View Post
    KLD, thanks for your response to my post. You mentioned "putting the fracture site at risk" and I was curious what you meant? Did you mean further compression and if so how does one further damage the site. It seems if there was risk involved for further damage then bed rest with the Lumbar curve supported for best healing should be prescribed. Why are you allowed to walk around if possible further damage resulting in surgery is possible?
    The reason I ask is that my doctor now wants to perform an operation called Anterior Corpectomy and I am not so sure that this is the answer. Today I went in for my 6 week check up and the x rays revealed more compression of my L2. It was 25mm night of accident, 3 days later with 1st load bearing x-ray 23mm and now 17mm approx. 5 weeks later. My Neurosurgeon sees a pattern and wants to operate can or should I wait the full 12 weeks to see if I can function properly without the surgery? Will secondary issues arise due to the kyphosis deformity? It stops at 17mm is that acceptable (or would you have to review the x-rays? I would very much appreciate your opinion. Currently I have little to no pain (no meds for 3 weeks) with slight to moderate discomfort. Should I wait? Thanks, Luke.
    by not wearing your brace could do more damage, I have L1burst fracture had surgery next day of accident had Anterior Corpectomy with strut graphs and hardware with gage and rods. I also was fused from L1-L2. I was in a brace for 8 weeks and graduated to smaller brace. I had lots of pain, but you say you are having more compression is tht why he wants to do the surgery or is it because of the kyphosis deformity. The surgery is no picnic, but it is tollerable and if i did not have had the surgery I would never had the chance to try and walk again, I am now walking with a walker and by myself a little.
    Maybe you need more discussion with your Dr. because I am not sure how you were able to walk after the first week. Keep asking questions.
    JeAnNE L1Burst Fracture inc. 11/5/10

    Live Well--Laugh often

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