Compression Fractures Treatment
Vertebrae are the bones of the back, which join together to make up the spinal column. In a compression fracture of the vertebrae, the bone tissue of the vertebral body collapses. More than one vertebra may be affected. This condition is commonly caused by osteoporosis and less often by tumor or trauma to the back.
When the fracture occurs as a result of osteoporosis, the vertebrae in the thoracic (chest) and lower spine are usually affected, and symptoms may become worse with walking.
With multiple fractures, kyphosis, a forward hump-like curvature of the spine, may result. Pressure on the spinal cord may occur, producing symptoms of numbness, tingling or weakness.
Symptoms depend upon the area of the back that is affected. In some cases, the fracture heals without treatment and the pain goes away. In others, the bone does not stabilize and continues to move, causing persistent pain that in turn limits physical activities and reduces independence.
Treating Vertebral Compression Fractures
Historically, patients with compression fractures have been treated conservatively, with strong pain medications, prolonged bed rest, or external bracing. These treatments can result in long recovery times and disruption of daily life. Vertebroplasty is an option to failed conservative treatment for vertebral compression fractures.