Spine Fracture

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If you or a loved one has suffered a spine fracture, or broken back, Duke Spine Center has all the resources you need for excellent care. Our spine surgeons in Raleigh and Durham use the latest advances and technology to repair spine fractures caused by injury or chronic conditions such as spinal arthritis. Our goal is to avoid serious complications, minimize your pain, and improve your quality of life.

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Treatments

Bracing

Immobilizing your spine can promote healing and reduce your pain. We offer many different braces, depending upon the location and severity of your spine fracture. We use braces for stable fractures, which means your bone is not likely to move after we stabilize it. Unstable fractures are more serious and challenging to align, so surgery is often necessary.

Spinal Surgery

We use minimally invasive techniques through a small incision to minimize your pain, quicken your recovery, and lower your risk for surgical complications. Surgeries include:

  • Spinal Fusion: Fuses damaged vertebrae with a bone graft using plates or rods to form a single, solid piece of bone that is more stable. 
  • Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty: Uses bone cement to stabilize compression fractures, which are less severe than traumatic fractures.
Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Tests

Your doctor may use one or more of these imaging tests to determine the location and severity of your spine fracture and back injury. In the case of emergency surgeries, our operating room has intraoperative CT and MRI so your surgeon can quickly evaluate your spinal cord and back injury. Imaging tests include:

X-Ray

Takes pictures of bones inside your body. Your doctor will use this test to locate bone fractures, but a CT or MRI may be needed to find any nerve injury.

MRI

Magnets and radio waves are used to take detailed pictures of your spinal discs and the nerve roots of your spinal cord. 

CT Scan

A series of cross-sectional pictures produce detailed, 3-D images of your spine and spinal cord.

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Expert Care for Spine Fractures

Level I Trauma Center
We provide the highest level of surgical care to patients with spinal injuries. Our trauma center is a regional and national referral center for neck and spine injuries and disorders. Our trauma neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons regularly treat adult and pediatric patients. They know how to respond to all types of injuries for the best possible outcome. 

Leaders in Spine Surgery
We are among the most experienced and busiest surgical teams in the state. Our spine surgeons perform more than 1,200 spine surgeries every year, including minimally invasive procedures and complex reconstructive surgeries. 

Intraoperative Imaging Technology
We offer advanced, intraoperative capabilities with CT and MRI. Our surgeons use detailed 3-D pictures of your spine and the tiny nerves and roots of your spinal cord in the operating room as they work, saving time when it matters most. 

Chronic Pain Solutions
If you struggle with long-term pain, our pain experts offer relief with neuromodulation, a technique that uses implantable devices to directly treat the nerves causing your pain. Learn more about these treatments for chronic back pain

Stress Management Service
It’s not easy to recover from any type of traumatic injury, physically or emotionally. Our psychologist can help you cope with any emotions you may be experiencing -- such as anger, sadness, anxiety, or grief -- and specializes in working with patients who have suffered traumatic back injuries.

Best Hospital for Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery in NC
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital’s nationally ranked orthopaedics, neurology, and neurosurgery programs were named best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.