Neck & Back: Compression Fracture of the Spine


Compression fracture of the spine occurs when the vertebrae in the spine are pressed together beyond the pressure it can withstand, and the vertebra breaks. This can happen from a sudden traumatic injury, through gradual thinning from osteoporosis, making the vertebra more susceptible to breaking, or even from cancer of the spine. Compression fractures usually occur in the middle to lower back region.




Signs and symptoms of an Compression Fracture of the Spine may include:
  • Back pain
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Limited movement
  • Swelling at area of injury
  • Spine takes on curved shape, when multiple fractures are present
  • Decrease in overall height
Self-Care

The doctor may recommend rest and modifying activities, especially those that put strain on the back.

Bracing

A brace or other advanced support can help rest the area and allow for the healing process to begin.

Medications

Medications may be suggested to manage back pain.

Minimally Invasive Radiologic Procedures

Depending on the severity of the fracture and symptoms, the doctor may recommend vertebroplasty. Vertebroplasty is a non-surgical therapy that involves stabilizing the vertebra by injecting a cement mixture. This can prevent further damage, return the vertebra to its proper height and restore functionality.