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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
The goal of spinal fracture treatment is the restoration of normal length and alignment of the vertebrae, and avoidance of motion between the fracture fragments. Specific treatment for a fracture will be determined by your child's physician based on:
• Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
• Extent of the fracture
• Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
• Expectations for the course of the fracture
• Your opinion or preference
Treatment at Boston Children's Hospital may include some combination of the following:
• Brace - immobilizes the injured area to promote bone alignment and healing to protect the injured area from
motion or use. Bracing helps reduce acute pain by immobilizing the fracture and helps reduce the eventual loss
of height and in angulation from the fracture. Immobilization of a cervical spine compression
• Fractures usually involve the use of a rigid collar.
• Medication (for pain control)
• Reduction - involves realignment of the fractured bone. This can be done through an incision made into the
fracture site (open reduction) or by external manipulation without an incision (closed reduction)
• Traction - the application of a force to stretch certain parts of the body in a specific direction. Traction consists
of pulleys, strings, weights, and a metal frame attached over or on the bed. The purpose of traction is to stretch
the muscles and tendons around the broken bone to allow the bone ends to align and heal.
• Surgery - required to put certain types of broken bones back into place. Occasionally, internal fixation (metal
rods or pins located inside the bone) or external fixation devices (metal rods or pins located outside of the body)
are used to hold the bone fragments in place to allow alignment and healing.
With proper immobilization and rehabilitation including physical therapy and exercise, most children can expect to make a full recovery from a spinal fracture.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”