- Patient Portal
- Contact Us
Spinal compression fractures, as their name implies, occur when the bones within one or more vertebrae collapse. These usually occur on the front of the vertebrae, as the back of the vertebrae is made of harder bone.
A spinal compression fracture can occur when too much pressure is placed on a weakened vertebra. This continued pressure weakens the vertebrae and, over time, can cause a buildup of minor fractures. If these small fractures continue to accumulate, they can eventually lead to the collapse of that vertebra – known as a compression fracture.
Spinal compression fractures commonly occur in people with osteoporosis, as their bones are weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to damage. Vertebral compression fractures, while sometimes linked to degenerative changes to the spine, can also be caused by metastatic tumors that put pressure on the vertebrae or by trauma resulting from a sports injury, car accident, or hard fall.
Several symptoms may occur as a result of spinal compression fractures, such as:
Spinal compression fractures can happen during everyday activities in people with severe osteoporosis. Anything from sneezing too hard to lifting a light object can cause spinal compression fractures. For people with more moderate osteoporosis, spinal compression fractures may occur from falling or attempting to lift a heavy object. People with osteoporosis who have had spinal compression fractures in the past are five times more likely to sustain a second spinal compression fracture in the future. It's worth noting that even if a spinal compression fracture has little to no symptoms at all, the risk of having additional fractures dramatically increases.
For those who already have a spinal compression fracture, there are nonsurgical methods that may help you recover. These treatment options fall into the following categories:
In severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to reduce pain caused by spinal compression fractures. There are several surgeries that may help you find relief:
There are several ways to help prevent spinal compression fractures, and all of them aim to strengthen your bones. Natural methods include taking calcium supplements, taking more vitamin D, avoiding smoking, preventing falls, and doing strength-building exercises. Some medications can help prevent spinal compression fractures as well. Medications that can help with bone fractures are as follows:
Remember to discuss medicinal solutions with your doctor to find the proper preventative treatment for you.
If you believe you are suffering from a spinal compression fracture, reach out to a spinal specialist for a consultation. Everyone is different, and a specialist can help you find the best treatment plan for your unique condition and health status.
After a diagnosis, it’s important to stick to your treatment plan and follow all of your doctor’s recommendations. Attend all follow-up appointments to ensure you’re recovering well.