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Osteoporotic Compression Fractures

Most healthy bones can withstand a lot of pressure, with the spine bending to absorb the shock. However, osteoporosis thins bones, which can cause them to collapse during normal activity. When you bend to lift an object, miss a step, or slip on a carpet, you put your spinal bones at risk of an osteoporotic compression fracture.

Symptoms of Osteoporotic Compression Fractures

An osteoporotic compression fracture causes back pain typically near the break itself. The pain usually gets worse with motion or when you’re coughing and sneezing, and subsides when you’re lying down.

Nevertheless, you can have an osteoporotic compression fracture and not even know it. In fact, two-thirds of spinal compression fractures are undiagnosed because people think the back pain is just a part of aging – a result of arthritis.

Osteoporotic Compression Fracture Risk Factors

People with a higher chance of getting the condition include:

  • White and Asian women
  • Women over age 50
  • Those with low body weight
  • Women in early menopause
  • Tobacco users

Consequently, forty percent of women will have at least one osteoporotic compression fracture by the time they are 80 years old.

Treatment of Osteoporotic Compression Fractures

Fortunately, most people who suffer a vertebral compression fracture get better within three months without specific treatment to repair the fracture. Treatments, such as those below, can help:

  • Physical therapy and strengthening exercises
  • Medications and analgesics to reduce pain and swelling
  • Injections of anti-inflammatory and/or numbing agents
  • Massage therapy to reduce tension and muscle spasms
  • Heat and ice to improve circulation

If you have severe pain that does not respond to these nonsurgical treatment options, then surgery may be considered. Call 330.835.5533 and schedule an appointment with a Summa spine specialist to discuss further.

Specialists on Staff

Bradley P. Inkrott, M.D.

Matthew N. Jaykel, M.D.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.