What Is a Vertebral Fracture?

Learn about the symptoms and treatment options for vertebrae fractures.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Just like any other bone in the body, vertebrae can break. The most common type of break is a compression fracture which basically means that the bone is squeezed until it begins to break down. This happens typically due to some sort of trauma like a sports injury or a car accident, but they can also be caused by osteoporosis. Compression fractures can occur in vertebrae anywhere in the spine, but they tend to occur most commonly in the upper back, the thoracic spine. Osteoporosis and related spine fractures are largely treatable and preventable with medications-- calcium intake and kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty surgery. The typical symptoms of a compression fracture of the spine is sharp stabbing pain. The patient will tend to come in and hold their upper body with their arms to support the upper body weight. They'll complain of a sharp stabbing pain, especially when they cough or sneeze or lean forward or try to lift anything. Treatment options of vertebral compression fractures depend on the amount of bone that's compressed, the age of the patient, the reason the bone broke or compress to begin with. A treatment options may include simple bracing for a long term with activity modification like no lifting and no bending over. If the patient has a poor ability to heal their broken bone, then a surgical intervention like kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty may be considered to treat the broken bone.

When one or more bones in the spine break, it’s known as a vertebral fracture or spinal fracture. There are several types of vertebral fractures:

 

 

  • Compression fractures — Compression fractures are the most common and happen when a vertebra collapses, usually from a trauma, like a fall, or heavy lifting.
  • Burst fractures — These can happen after a traumatic injury, such as a fall from a great height or a car accident. Splinters of bone penetrate the soft tissues around the spine.
  • Fracture-dislocation — Fracture-dislocations occur when a vertebra breaks and becomes dislocated, potentially damaging the spinal cord.
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When one or more bones in the spine break, it’s known as a vertebral fracture or spinal fracture. There are several types of vertebral fractures:

 

  • Compression fractures — Compression fractures are the most common and happen when a vertebra collapses, usually from a trauma, like a fall, or heavy lifting. 
  • Burst fractures — These can happen after a traumatic injury, such as a fall from a great height or a car accident. Splinters of bone penetrate the soft tissues around the spine. 
  • Fracture-dislocation — Fracture-dislocations occur when a vertebra breaks and becomes dislocated, potentially damaging the spinal cord.

What You May Be Feeling

Back Pain

Back Pain

Spasm

Spasms

Tenderness

Tenderness

Stiffness

Weakness

If you experience back pain that comes on suddenly, especially in the upper or mid-back, pain that gets worse when standing or walking, a decrease in pain when lying flat on your back, lose flexibility in the spine, or have a deformity like a hump in your back, your doctor may suspect a vertebral fracture.

Potential Thinning Disc Treatment Options

Kyphoplasty

The surgeon is guided by x-ray to place a balloon catheter into the vertebrae. The balloon inflates to restore the collapse in a vertebra. The vertebrae is then stabilized with injected cement.

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We're sorry to interrupt, but we know a fear of surgery can hold some people back. 70% of the patients who come to BioSpine are sucessfully treated without surgery. The first step is understanding what is casuing your pain - take that step and schedule a consultation. It's that easy.
We're sorry to interrupt, but we know a fear of surgery can hold some people back. 70% of the patients who come to BioSpine are sucessfully treated without surgery. The first step is understanding what is casuing your pain - take that step and schedule a consultation. It's that easy.
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