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Is a Spinal Compression Fracture Work-Related

A Spinal Compression Fracture can certainly be work related.  Compression fractures are the most common type of fracture affecting the spine. A compression fracture of a spine bone (vertebra) causes the bone to collapse in height.  A work injury to the spine, such as from a hard fall on the buttocks or blow to the head, or a fall landing on your back can cause a spinal compression fracture.  

The human spine is made of 24 spinal bones, called vertebrae. Vertebrae are stacked on top of one another to create the spinal column.  The main section of each vertebra is a large, round structure called a vertebral body.  A bony ring attaches to the back of each vertebral body. When the vertebrae are stacked on one another, the bony rings form a hollow tube. This tube, or canal, surrounds the spinal cord. The spinal cord is like a long wire made of millions of nerve fibers.  The bones of the spinal column protect the spinal cord.

Severe compression fractures from forceful impact on the spine, as can happen in a car accident, can cause fragments of the vertebral body to push into the spinal canal and press against the spinal cord. This can cause damage to the spinal cord that can result in partial or complete paralysis below the waist.

Spine trauma can produce mild or severe compression fractures. Compression fractures from trauma usually involve high forces that impact the spine when it is bent forward. This is typically what happens when a person falls onto the buttocks or strikes his head on the windshield in a car accident. Again, these traumatic fractures usually affect the back part of the vertebral body.

Traumatic compression fractures can produce intense pain in the back that spreads into the legs. If the fracture severely damages the vertebral body, bone fragments may lodge in the spinal canal, pressing on the spinal cord. This can paralyze muscles and impair sensation in the areas supplied by the damaged nerve tissue. Such a fracture may also cause the spine to become unstable. When this happens, the spine eventually tilts forward into increased kyphosis, and the potential grows for future complications with the spinal cord.

At McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin our attorneys get the best results in traumatic cervical, thoracic or lumbar compression fracture work-related injury claims when the treating physician or surgeon gives a causation opinion.  Expert doctor opinions based on honest and trustworthy facts make a solid case.  Does workers comp cover compression fractures resulting in permanent work restrictions? Yes, where treating physicians and surgeons support the case, worker's compensation benefits should cover compression fractures.

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