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Compression Fractures

Compression Fractures

Compression fracture is a type of fracture that affects the spine, generally caused by osteoporosis.

What are compression fractures?

This fracture usually results in a decrease in the height of the vertebral bone in the spine. While compression fractures can affect any vertebrae in the spine, they are most common in the thoracic spine or upper back.

What are the symptoms of compression fractures?

The most common symptom of compression fractures is acute back pain, which may become chronic. Other associated symptoms include deformity, loss of muscle conditioning, loss of height, and even crowding of internal organs. The change in posture, pain, and other symptoms can affect the day-to-day activities of the person and may even lower one’s sense of self-image.

The following are the common symptoms of compression fractures:

  • Sudden onset of pain in the back
  • Pain gets worse when walking or standing
  • Height loss
  • Limited spinal mobility
  • Disability and deformity

What causes compression fractures?

Osteoporosis is the major cause of vertebral compression fractures. This is why such fractures are most common in women, especially those aged 50 and above. It also affects men over age 50. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by thinning of the bones, making them weak and brittle. This makes the spine prone to collapse, deformity, and fractures. Because of the fracture, the spine loses its normal strength and shape, and as a result, causes a lot of pain.

Other causes of compression fractures include trauma and tumor. Trauma could result from a fall, an accident, and other events that stress the bones in the spine. When this affects the spinal vertebrae, it can cause minor or severe compression fractures. In other cases, cancer or tumor may also cause vertebral fractures.

How are compression fractures treated?

Treatments for spinal compression fractures are categorized into two: nonsurgical and surgical treatment.

Medications help provide pain relief. There are also medications for stabilizing bone density. Common medications include analgesics, NSAIDs, narcotic pain medications, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, and acetaminophen. Taking these medications as required or as prescribed, coupled with rest, reduction of activity, and certain lifestyle changes; help speed up the healing process of the fractured spine. If the fracture is minor, the person will likely be able to return to performing everyday activities soon.

Aside from pain medication, activity modification, and rest, back bracing also helps in the healing process of the compression fracture. The brace provides additional external support to the back, limiting its motion, allowing it to heal in time, and protecting it from further damage. Braces also help reduce pain.

If the pain and osteoporosis medication, activity modification, rest, and back bracing does not work, surgical treatment may be the best option. This is especially true in chronic pain caused by severe spinal compression fractures. Two of the most common surgical treatments for compression fractures are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

Vertebroplasty is effective in providing pain relief from compression fractures and in stabilizing the bones. On the other hand, kyphoplasty helps correct the bone deformity caused by the fracture. It also relieves the pain.

AZ Pain and Spine Institute
Compression Fractures Treatments

Here at Arizona Pain and Spine Institute, we improve our patients’ quality of life by alleviating and managing their pain. Some of our Compression Fractures treatments include:

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Why choose AZ Pain and Spine Institute to treat your Compression Fractures?

We have a team of medical practitioners, pain management doctors, and staff who are experts on pain management, including Compression Fractures. We use state-of-the-art technology and effective approaches in achieving our mission. We care about your well-being and are committed to making your life pain-free.