We use cookies to so our web site can function correctly. By Clicking "OK" or by clicking into any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more visit the cookies section of our privacy policy.

Privacy Statement

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

Cookie group mandatory

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

These cookies are required


These cookies allow us to adtertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only


These cookies allow us to advertise our products to you and allow us to pass this information on to our trusted third parties so that they can advertise our products to you on our behalf
All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. No personal inforation is shared to third parties. Any personal information collected while using our website could be used for direct marketing from HCA only

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site.  All information collect is annonomas unless you provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Spinal trauma and fractures

Fractured spine

Treating spinal fractures caused by trauma, osteoporosis and cancer at our state-of-the-art spinal care unit

About spinal traumas and fractures

Spinal fractures can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and even lead to life changing circumstances. They don’t always involve trauma and can result from less common but serious conditions such as infection and cancer or even osteoporosis. There are a number of treatments options available and depending on your degree of disability your consultant will help you choose the best one.

Need to know

  • What are the affects of spinal fractures on daily activity? icon plus

    Spinal fractures due to trauma may be associated with other injuries which could be life threatening. In this situation you may need to be taken to an acute hospital first before coming to one of our HCA UK hospitals. This is to allow time for the other injuries to stabilise. 

    Fractures due to infection, cancer or osteoporosis may not present with a history of trauma. The first symptom you may notice is pain in your back which affects your daily activities. If it is due to cancer or infection you may also feel generally unwell and have pain which disturbs your sleep. 

    If the fracture is pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord, you may have: 

    • difficulty walking
    • weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
    • radiating pain down the arm or legs
    • bowel or bladder problems
    • paralysis

    These are neurological problems and you should go to hospital. Compression fractures from osteoporosis are similar, but you can lose height or get a hump in the spine. Cancers which spread to the bone (metastases) from other sites in the body or even when they arise from the bone itself can cause fractures.

    These are known as pathological fractures. Both wear down your bone density and the first symptom is bone pain.


  • Diagnosing spinal fractures icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms and ask if you have pain or symptoms of nerve damage. They will ask about recent trauma such as an accident and whether you have underlying health conditions such as osteoporosis or cancer.

    They may order spinal imaging tests. These tests show what kind of fracture you have and how severe it is and whether there is any pressure on the nerves or spinal cord. Your consultant may suggest further tests depending on the results.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Pathological fractures caused by osteoporosis and cancer where indicated may be treated with kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Both procedures are minimally invasive to reduce tissue damage, blood loss and operating times.

    • Kyphoplasty, is where a balloon is inserted into the collapsed vertebra to restore height. This creates a cavity which is filled with liquid bone cement under a little pressure to restore stability and maintain height.
    • Vertebroplasty is where liquid bone cement is injected into the collapsed vertebra under high pressure to restore height and stability.

    Depending on the nature of the fracture neither kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be suitable and your consultant may opt for a conventional open operation instead. This may involve the use of ‘scaffolding’ with rods and screws to stabilise your spine.

    Not all fractures require surgery and wearing a brace may be all that is required.

Our spinal consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic and neurosurgical experts, who specialise in diagnosing, treating and managing spinal conditions and problems of different regions of the spine.
Consultant in theatres

Our locations

From complex spinal surgery to diagnostic scans and physiotherapy support, we provide exceptional spinal care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Wellington Hospital

    The Wellington Hospital Spinal Unit

    South Building, Wellington Place

    St John's Wood, London

    NW8 9LE

    Call 020 7483 5148

  • London Bridge Hospital

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street


    SE1 2PR

    Appointments & Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773

  • The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road


    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7730 8298
    General enquiries 020 7730 7733

  • The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 7908 8001
    General enquiries 020 7486 1234

  • The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street


    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • The HSC exterior

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London  W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7935 7700
    General enquiries 020 7034 8181

  • HCA UK at The Wilmslow Hospital

    52-54 Alderley Road


    SK9 1NY

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 01615 160 961

  • The Wellington Hospital - South Building

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 020 7483 5148
    General enquiries 020 7586 5959

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    HCA UK at The Shard

    The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street


    SE1 9BS

    Call 020 3131 6888
    Opening hours 7:30 - 20:00 Monday - Friday

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top