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Persisting intense pain post burst compression fracture of L1, uses tlso brace, taking morphine, endones, physiotherapy, X-ray showed almost healed. Normal?

Hello, I had a burst compression fracture of my L1 vertebrae 5 months ago. It was stable and required no surgery. I also had an MRI which proved no disc/nerve damage. I m still in a lot of pain. I wore a tlso brace and sometimes still wear it when I go I need to go out. I m also Doing physiotherapy . My doctors say healing time is different for everyone and my X-rays show it s almost healed. My question is, is it normal to be in a lot of pain a this stage. I am still on morphine and endones. People on the net say it took them 3-4 months to recover. I feel like I m at a standstill. I got for small walks everyday but can t sit for more than 10 minutes or bend without getting an ache throught my shoulder blades and up to my neck. Is this normal?
Asked On : Tue, 10 Apr 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  303
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

The recovery time differs always from person to person. I personally feel that the persistent pain in you could be the result of an angular gibbus deformity that might have developed at the fracture site causing a stretch on the posterior spinal ligaments. This typically gets worsened when you try to bend forwards.

You can try a few steroid shots or trigger point injections at the site of maximum pain or tenderness which may provide relief.

* Always wear the TLSO brace except in supine position (as in sleeping)
* Avoid bending forwards (as in picking objects from the floor)
* Use daily calcium supplements to strengthen the fractured bone
* Ocassional muscle relaxants as needed
* Physiotherapy for strengthening your back muscles

Hope this information is helpful . Good day

Answered: Mon, 5 Aug 2013
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