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TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center
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Vertebral Compression Fracture

The bones of the back are called the vertebrae. A vertebral fracture is a break in one of these bones. A vertebral compression fracture occurs when the front part of the bone is squeezed or compressed.

Could it be a Compression Fracture? Please call our Joint and Spine Center Navigator at (615) 781-5870 to make an appointment with one of our specialists.

Symptoms may include:

  • Mild to severe pain in the middle or lower back
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of control of the bowel or bladder

A vertebral compression fracture can be caused by:

  • Osteoporosis a condition of weakened bones
  • A blow to the back
  • Falling down
  • Landing on your heels when jumping from a height
  • Having major trauma such as a motor vehicle accident

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:

Treatment Options

Surgery

Vertebroplasty involves liquid cement being injected into the vertebra. It can help relieve the pain associated with vertebral fractures. It is not suitable for everyone. The procedure may be best for recent fractures. Talk with your doctor to see if this option may be right for you. For example, it may not be as helpful in people whose fractures are due to osteoporosis.

In kyphoplasty, a balloon is used to create a cavity. The cement is injected into the cavity. This procedure is designed to relieve pain. It can also improve spinal deformities from the fractures.

Spinal fusion may be used to join together two or more bones in the spine. This procedure stops the bones from moving.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Your doctor may advise:

  • A brief period of bed rest and a decrease in activity
  • Medication to control the pain
  • Strengthening exercises for your back muscles
  • A back brace
Still concerned about Compression Fractures? Please call our Joint and Spine Center Navigator at (615) 781-5870 to make an appointment with one of our specialists.