Lumbar Spine Injury
What is the lumbar spine?
The lumbar spine is the biggest and strongest
part of the spinal column. It runs from the mid
to lower back. It is made up of 5 vertebrae.
These are bones that surround the spinal cord.
There are disks between each vertebra.
What is a Lumbar Spine injury?
A lumbar spine injury can happen when a great
amount of force is placed against the spinal
column. An injury can happen if the spinal
column is not strong enough to stand up to that
force. Injury can occur to the vertebrae, disks, or
the cord. This can cause pain, numbness,
weakness, and tingling. Symptoms vary in each
What tests will I need?
X-rays are tests that look at the bones in
A CT scan (Computed Tomography
Scan) is a test that uses x-rays to obtain
detailed pictures of bones and other
A physical assessment will check your
spine to see if there is pain when pressure
is applied or with movement.
How is it treated?
If you have an injury that needs treatment, you
will be seen by a spine specialist. This doctor
will determine the location and stability of the
fracture. The doctor will decide whether or not
surgery is needed. If surgery is not needed but a
fracture is found, you may have to wear a brace.
Your doctor will decide what type of brace and
how long it will be worn.
What should I expect while in the hospital?
If a brace is
needed, you will
have to lie flat in
bed to keep your
until a brace has
This can be
but it is needed
to protect your
spine. In order
to turn in bed,
you must be
rolled by the
This is called
“log rolling.” It
allows you to be
You may not be
able to eat anything until your doctor
decides if you have a spine injury. This
can take up to 24 hours. The reason for
this is to be prepared if you have to go to
surgery. If surgery is needed you will not
be allowed to eat. We will be giving
fluids through you IV to keep you
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice.
This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different,
you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency,
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