A fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebrae is called an L5 fracture or L5 vertebra fracture. Any vertebrae fracture is a serious injury that necessitates immediate medical attention and evaluation. Because of the proximity to the spinal cord and central nervous system, all vertebrae fractures can potentially also cause a permanently disabling spinal cord injury.
L5 Vertebrae Fracture Causes
Most L5 vertebrae fractures are associated with significant trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, SUV rollover accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, motorcycle accident, or slip and fall accident. Because the spinal canal is larger in the lumbar region than in the cervical or thoracic region, the lumbar spine is less susceptible to spinal cord injury, and thus takes a significant traumatic injury to cause a compression fracture or burst fracture.
L5 Vertebrae Fracture Diagnosis and Treatment
A suspected fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebrae is usually confirmed with an x-ray. A lateral x-ray of the lumbosacral spine can identify a fracture and any shifting of the fifth lumbar vertebrae onto the sacrum (a condition called L5-S1 spondylolisthesis). Treatment of a vertebrae fracture will vary from one injury to another, depending on the severity of the injury, whether it is unstable or stable, and the type of fracture (compression fracture, burst fracture, or fracture-dislocation). Treatment may include braces to immobilize the spine, instrumentation, and fusion surgical procedures, and less-invasive vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty to treat compression fractures (these are most often used to treat fractures caused by osteoporosis or spinal tumors).
Other Injuries Associated With L5 Vertebrae Fractures
Fractures of the L5 vertebrae are often associated with pelvic fracture and damage to internal organs. A displaced or unstable vertebrae fracture may cause damage to the spinal cord and partial or total paralysis below the level of injury.
Disc Herniation and Spondylolisthesis
Because the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae absorb and bear so much of the weight of the upper body, this region is a common location for a herniated disc to occur. This painful condition, sometimes referred to as a slipped disc, occurs when the cartilage tissue between the vertebrae ruptures. L5 vertebra fractures are also often associated with a condition called spondylolisthesis, which occurs when one vertebra slips forward onto the vertebrae beneath it. This condition can produce deformity of the lower spine and narrowing of the vertebral canal.
Compensation for L5 Vertebrae Fractures
If you or someone in your family has suffered a fractured vertebra or other bone fracture, get the medical treatment you need and contact a California bone fracture injury lawyer for a free consultation. The attorneys at Estey & Bomberger are available to review your potential claim and help you understand your rights and legal options, and how you may be entitled to recover compensation from the party responsible for your injuries. Damages recovered in a personal injury claim can include money for medical expenses, therapy and rehabilitation, lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, and emotional pain and suffering.
No Recovery, No Fee.
At Estey & Bomberger, if we represent you in your case, we will hold whoever was responsible for your injuries fully accountable, and will not charge any fees unless and until we obtain compensation for you. To speak with an attorney about your potential case, call (800) 925-0723. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to discuss your case and answer your questions.