Compression Fracture – What Is It, And What Causes It?

A compression fracture is simply a vertebra collapse either because of trauma or because of a vertebra weakening. This kind of condition is seen in most patients with osteogenesis imperfect or osteoporosis and even those with lytic lesions from primary tumors, or metastatic. In healthy patients, this medical condition commonly occurs in people suffering from severe vertical shocks. They are one of the most obvious types of fracture that affect the spine.

What causes compression fractures?

Any injury to the spinal cord can cause a compression fracture of the spine. This type of fracture can also happen if cancer in other parts of the body spreads to the spinal cord. This infection weakens the spine bones making them more prone to easy compression fractures. Age is another factor that can cause this type of fracture. For instance if you are almost 60 years old and you experience frequent back pain, chances are you might be suffering from spinal compression fracture. Therefore, do not assume that it is just a normal way of getting older.

Back pains and aches may be a sign of possible small fractures occurring in the vertebrae (bones forming a spine). Weakened and soft pine bones are at the center of this problem. When these bones are brittle, any physical activity can easily trigger minor compression fractures of spine. For instance, if you slip on the floor, bending to lift a heavy thing, or missing a step can lead to fracture. Surprisingly, even sneezing or coughing can also cause extreme cases of the osteoporosis. After several small compression fractures, the body will start showing the effects. Eventually, little hairline fractures can lead to spinal compression fracture.

What are the Symptoms

As there are various causes of compression fractures, symptoms also vary in relation to these causes. For example if the conditions are caused by weakened, thin bones then little or no pain is felt at first. In some cases, pain is centrally felt over the affected area. In addition, the fracture gives the spinal cord a hunched look. The vertebral height loss also makes the muscles on both sides of the spine shorter. This impact forces muscles on the back to strain and work harder, thus causing muscle pain and fatigue. However, this pain occurs temporarily and it disappears after some weeks.

A traumatic condition resulting from this kind of fractures can lead to severe pain in the back, which also into other parts of the body such as legs. If the compression fracture is extremely damaging the spinal cord, the bone fragments may stay in the spinal canal, hence pressing on the vertebral body. This condition can paralyze body muscles as well as impairing sensation in the parts of the body supplied through damaged nerve tissues. This kind of fracture may also lead to instability of the spine. When this occurs, the spine will eventually tilt forward into the increased kyphosis. It can also lead to potential occurrence of future spinal complications.

Treatment options available

There are various treatment options available for rectifying these conditions. These include nonsurgical treatment option, which only uses simple remedies to treat this condition. In fact, the majority of people suffering from such fractures are treated without undergoing through surgical procedures. Surgery is another treatment option available. In this case, a patient has to go through a surgical procedure in order to recover from this condition. Surgical procedure includes two options as well: the vertebroplasty and the kyphotoplasty. Rehabilitation is also another way of treating compression fracture patients.

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