Compression fractures refer to the collapse of vertebral bodies, which are bones in the spine. The pain of compression fractures is often described as being “knife-like.” Although compression fractures can be debilitating, there are treatment options available to patients. A spine doctor will usually recommend non-surgical treatment options like rest and medications first, followed by spine surgery if the symptoms do not get better.
Loss of Bone Mass
The loss of bone mass does not immediately cause a compression fracture, but it can predispose the bone to sustaining fractures when introduced to trauma. Osteoporosis is among the most common conditions associated with older age. It can affect both men and women. It occurs when the body breaks down more bone mass than it creates. Certain factors can exacerbate osteoporosis, such as the lack of sufficient calcium and vitamin D in one’s diet and the lack of weight-bearing exercises to keep the bones strong. As osteoporosis progresses, the bones continue to become more brittle and weak.
Triggers of Vertebral Fractures
Very brittle, weak bones may develop fractures from even slight trauma. Sometimes, this can occur when a person bends to lift a heavy object or trips on the stairs and falls. These trigger events can easily cause other types of fractures, such as hip fractures, in addition to compression fractures of the vertebrae. In some cases, a fall isn’t necessary to break a bone. A patient with advanced osteoporosis may trigger a compression fracture simply by sneezing or coughing.
Incidents of Acute Trauma
Although compression fractures are commonly associated with patients who are of advanced age, a person of any age can sustain these spinal injuries due to traumatic injuries. The force of the impact of a car crash or a fall from an elevated position may be sufficient to cause a spinal fracture.
Spine Institute of Nevada specializes in minimally invasive spine care , including the surgical treatment of compression fractures. To find out if you could be a good candidate for spine surgery, schedule a consult with our spine surgeon in Las Vegas today. Contact us at (702) 239-3787 to get started.