Spinal and Compression Fractures

A spinal fracture occurs when a bone in the spine suffers trauma, or weakens and breaks and collapses. Compression fractures are most common to the middle of a person’s back.

Our board-certified specialists and professional staff are experienced and trained in the diagnosis and treatment of spinal and compression fractures. We are committed to your treatment and recovery, and will work with you to alleviate your discomfort, improve your condition, and help you get moving again.

What are Spinal and Compression Fractures?

The bones of the spine, vertebrae, can undergo trauma, become weak over time or deteriorate due to an associated condition like osteoarthritis. Vertebrae can also break during an injury.

The middle portion of the back is often where a compression fracture occurs. Symptoms may involve a sharp pain, caused when the broken bone protrudes or as the spine compresses. Sometimes the pain can appear slowly, becoming more pronounced during activities such as walking, but easing during rest. Other symptoms include weakness, numbness, tingling, or loss of height.

Diagnosing Spinal and Compression Fractures

Your physician will ask about your symptoms and conduct a physical examination. A definitive diagnosis of a fracture is usually revealed with diagnostic imaging screens such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), or X-ray.

Treatment for Spinal and Compression Fractures

As with many symptom-producing conditions, non-invasive treatment methods of treating spinal and compression fractures may be exhausted before surgical procedures are considered. Some non-surgical treatments include:

  • Bracing
  • Medicine to relieve pain
  • Physical therapy
  • Rest

Surgical procedures to treat spinal and compression fractures include:

  • Balloon kyphoplasty – a balloon is inflated at the end of the surgical needle to create space between bones, then a solidifying agent is injected into the collapsed bone to prevent further fractures
  • Spinal fusion – two vertebrae are joined together to prevent movement between the bones
  • Vertebroplasty– a solidifying agent is injected into the collapsed bone to prevent further fractures