A compression fracture in the spine occurs when the bones of the spine, the vertebrae, collapse within themselves and become squashed. Older people can have weakened bones due to osteoporosis and these weakened bones can fracture and collapse when very slight or even no force is applied. Turning, bending, lifting, standing or falling can cause weakened bones to fracture. A compression fracture can occur at any age when a sudden, high level of force is applied to the spinal column as in a fall or auto collision. A traumatic injury of this type can also cause injury to the soft tissue in the area. Pain can develop gradually or be sudden and sharp. In some cases, sneezing or coughing can exacerbate the pain which can become excruciating. The experts at Chapman Spine and Orthopedic Institute can determine the exact location of a spinal compression fracture and help you find a way to return to normal functionality.
Diagnosis and Treatment
When an event occurs and a compression fracture is suspected, the first step is to protect the area from further injury. Immobilize the patient without delay and notify emergency medical technicians for transport to a care facility. If you have worsening back pain, you should not delay getting a full diagnostic workup to discover the cause. X-rays are usually taken to isolate the exact location of the fracture and other imaging tests or blood tests may be done for a complete diagnosis.
Treatment goals for a fracture of the spine are to relieve pain and to return the patient to normal functionality. Prevention of further fractures will also be a goal if a degenerative condition is identified as the cause of the current fracture. Frequently a brace is used to stabilize the back so that healing can occur. Sometimes surgery is needed if the fracture is putting pressure on spinal nerves. If this is the case, prompt action is needed to prevent permanent damage to nerves. Physical therapy is usually recommended.
The team at Chapman Spine and Orthopedic Institute is highly experienced in the treatment of compression fractures and is able to provide the most advanced care for compression fractures and any accompanying injuries. Your healing process is our main concern and we are committed to helping you achieve the healthy condition you desire.
Contact Chapman Spine and Orthopedic Institute
if you have sustained a spinal compression fracture or suspect that you may have one.