Compression Fracture of the Spine

A compression fracture of the spine is a type of fracture that involves the compression or collapse of one or more vertebrae in the spine. This type of fracture typically occurs due to excessive force or pressure on the vertebrae, leading to their compression and potential deformity. Compression fractures are most commonly seen in the thoracic (mid-back) and lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine.
Key Features of Compression Fracture of the Spine:
  • Causes:
    • Osteoporosis: Weakening of the bones due to osteoporosis is a common cause of compression fractures, especially in older individuals.
    • Trauma: Accidents, falls, or high-impact injuries can cause compression fractures.
    • Certain Medical Conditions: Conditions such as metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread to the spine) or multiple myeloma can weaken the vertebrae and increase the risk of fractures.
  • Symptoms:
    • Sudden Onset of Pain: A compression fracture can cause sudden, severe back pain.
    • Loss of Height: Compression fractures can result in a reduction in overall height, especially in the thoracic and lumbar regions.
    • Change in Spinal Alignment: The spine may develop an abnormal curvature due to the collapse of vertebrae.
    • Limited Range of Motion: Pain and structural changes may lead to a decreased ability to bend or twist the spine.
  • Diagnostic Approaches:
    • Imaging Studies: X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or CT (Computed Tomography) scans are used to visualize the spine and identify fractures.
    • Bone Density Testing: Assessing bone density is crucial, especially in cases related to osteoporosis.
  • Treatment Options:
    • Conservative Management: For stable fractures, conservative approaches may include pain management, bracing to support the spine, and physical therapy.
    • Vertebroplasty or Kyphoplasty: Minimally invasive procedures involving the injection of bone cement into the fractured vertebra to stabilize and alleviate pain.
    • Surgical Intervention: In severe cases or when conservative measures are ineffective, surgery may be considered to stabilize the spine, particularly if there is significant deformity or neurological compromise.
Compression fractures can vary in severity, and the choice of treatment depends on factors such as the cause of the fracture, the stability of the spine, and the overall health of the individual. Timely diagnosis and appropriate intervention are crucial to prevent complications and manage symptoms effectively. Individuals experiencing symptoms suggestive of a compression fracture should seek evaluation and guidance from a healthcare professional.


Regain Functionality
& Get Back To Living