Vertebral Compression Fractures

Causes

A compression fracture is a collapse of a vertebra. It may be due to trauma or due to a weakening of the vertebra (compare with burst fracture). This weakening is seen in patients with osteoporosis or osteogenesis imperfecta, lytic lesions from metastatic or primary tumors, or infection.

Symptoms

Along with back pain, spinal compression fractures can also cause:

  • Pain that gets worse when you stand or walk but with some relief when you lie down
  • Trouble bending or twisting your body
  • Loss of height
  • A curved, stooped shape to your spine
Treatments

Treatments include conservative measures such as bracing, NSAIDS and muscle relaxers for 4-6 weeks. Sometimes interventional procedures such as Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty can be considered for early relief.


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