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    Compression Fractures of the Spine

    Compression fractures of the spine are the most common type of fracture for people with osteoporosis; as the bones become fragile over time due to old age and low calcium or vitamin D levels. Spinal fractures can occur due to low-trauma, such as falling from a standing height or less. 

    Compression fractures of the spine can present with acute pain that patients describe as sharp or dull, deep pain. This pain can be made worse by sitting or even coughing, and movement can cause the muscles around the spinal segment that is fractured to spasm. Radiation of pain into the legs is rare with compression fractures, unless a bone fragment has moved and compresses a nerve root. Patients can also have visible signs of a vertebral fracture, such as loss of height or the development of a dowager hump in their back (kyphosis).

    How can it be treated?

    Possible treatments for spinal compression fractures should begin after an X-ray of the spine has been completed, to visualize the exact location of the injured bone.

    Treatment options start conservatively with NSAIDs and medication management, unless diagnostic tests show that surgery is needed sooner than later. Examples of surgical procedures that can treat spinal compression fractures are vertebroplasties and kyphoplasties. Both of these options can be discussed in detail with the physicians at Kansas Pain Management, to determine if the patient is a good candidate and if they’re likely to receive maximum pain relief.