Q:

How long does a fractured vertebra take to heal?

A:

Spinal fractures take different lengths of time to heal, depending on the type of fracture that occurs. According to Medline Plus, most spinal compression fractures that occur from an injury heal in about eight to 10 weeks. In some cases, these injuries heal with nothing but rest, the use of a back brace and pain medications. However, surgery is required to heal badly damaged vertebrae.

Humans have 33 different vertebrae. Scientists and doctors group the vertebrae into different sections. The neck is comprised of seven cervical vertebrae, while the upper back contains 12 thoracic vertebrae. Five lumbar vertebrae support the lower back. The sacrum has five fused vertebra, and the coccyx has four fused vertebrae. According to the Mayfield Clinic, 64 percent of all broken vertebrae occur in the lumbar region.

The human vertebrae are comprised of three primary components. The vertebral body forms the posterior side of the bone and supplies the bulk of the vertebrae’s mass. The vertebral body is the weight bearing part of the bone, and each vertebra is separated from the adjacent vertebrae by structures called discs. The spinal cord passes through the middle portion of the vertebrae, called the spinal canal. The surrounding bone helps to protect the vulnerable cord from injury. The remaining portion of the vertebrae forms the vertebral process, which provides attachment points for muscles and ligaments.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How long does a dislocated elbow take to heal?

    A:

    According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it takes a minimum of two to three weeks for a dislocated elbow to heal, and perhaps longer if the dislocation is severe. There are two types of elbow dislocation: complete and partial. In the case of the former, the joint surfaces are completely separated, while in the latter, the joint surfaces are only partially separated.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How long does it take to heal a fractured tibia?

    A:

    According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, or AAOS, a fractured tibia takes from four to six months to heal and sometimes longer. The healing time varies depending on the type and severity of the fracture. Longer healing times usually occur in patients with poor health or with open fractures, in which the fractured bone has protruded through the skin.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the rehab for a fractured patella?

    A:

    The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that rehabilitation for a fractured patella, or kneecap, involves stretching and strengthening exercises to compensate for the several weeks in a cast that this injury usually requires. After the initial treatment, patients must typically keep all weight off the affected leg.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How much pressure does it take to break a neck?

    A:

    To break the neck of a human, 1,000 to 1,250 foot-pounds of torque is considered sufficient. When hanging someone, a typical drop of 5 to 9 feet is enough to generate the force required to break the neck when the person hits the end of the rope.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore