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Spinal Compression Fracture

Spinal Compression Fracture occurs due to the weakening of the bones in the spine, causing them to fracture and crumble. The spine is responsible for providing support and stability to the body. It also protects the spinal cord, which allows for communication between the brain and the body. Compression fractures can cause the spinal vertebrae to collapse, leading to a host of complications.

The most common cause of a compression fracture is Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone loss disease in which the bones’ density reduces drastically, leading to weaker bones that break easily. Since the spine supports the weight of the body, it is under a lot of stress. A patient with Osteoporosis is at a much higher risk of developing a spinal fracture. Thus, the best way to prevent a spinal fracture is to treat Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is prevalent in women, especially after menopause, and also in men of old ages. A compression fracture may also occur as a result of a bad fall or injury to the spine. One could also develop a spinal compression fracture due to tumor growth in or around the spine. Bone cancer can weaken the bones, leading to similar problems as discussed earlier with Osteoporosis.

A patient with a spinal compression fracture is likely to experience the following symptoms.

  • While this might not be noticeable at first, patients usually experience progressive back pain as their spine deteriorates further.
  • Due to the compression in the spine, patients may note a decrease in height.
  • Patients may experience loss of full range of motion of the spine. Actions such as bending down or twisting sideways create a lot of tension in the back and can be very painful for someone with a spinal fracture.

Since the spinal cord is near the spine, a fracture can lead to inflammation and swelling. This can cause pinching of the nerves in the spine, which can lead to many problems. Patients may experience pain, numbness, and tingling in various parts of the body. They may also have weaker muscles and trouble while walking. Patients also experience bladder and bowel dysfunction due to nerve damage. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms described above, please consult a doctor. An early diagnosis can help begin early treatment, which prevents the spine from getting worse with time.

The doctor will request your full medical history and ask for any recent injuries. This helps the doctor narrow down possible causes for the discomfort you feel. A doctor may also request imaging scans such as the X-ray and CT scan to investigate the issue further. These scans give insight on the location and severity of the fracture. Depending on the cause of the spinal fracture, a few kinds of treatments may help. If your fracture is a result of Osteoporosis, you may receive medication to improve bone density. A doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to help with muscle strength and flexibility. If your condition is not due to Osteoporosis, you may receive pain killers and be asked to remain in bed for a short period. The limited activity helps your bones heal. It would help if you also considered wearing a back brace to restrict the spine’s motion further, allowing for a quicker recovery. In extreme cases, surgery may be required. Surgery such as Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty may be performed.