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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Spine and Back Health
Crushed Fourth Vertebrae
I have read that crushed vertebrae often will repair themselves in approximately 4 months. I was told that this is true, but the fourth vertebrae can not repair itself because of where it is in the spine. Is this true?
Hello, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question without more information. You have three different "fourth vertebrae" in your spine. There is a "C4", which is in the cervical spine, or neck. You have a "T4", which is the fourth thoracic (mid-back) vertebra, and an "L4", which is the fourth lumbar (lower back) vertebra. Also, the term "crushed vertebra" is hard to interpret. Are you talking about a "compression fracture"? There are other types of fractures, such as a "burst fracture", that heal differently. If you can post back with more information, I can help you more.
David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University