Compression Fractures of the Spine

This is a collapse of vertebral bone. It can affect one or more vertebrae. Compression fractures typically develop in your mid or lower back. This can change the shape of your spine.


Most compression fractures develop because of osteoporosis. This is a loss of bone density that causes your bones to become weak and brittle. If you have osteoporosis, routine daily activities such as bending down or coughing can gradually damage your vertebrae. Compression fractures can also be caused by traumatic injury or cancer of the spine.


The pain from sudden fractures can be severe and debilitating, while fractures that develop gradually may only cause mild pain. Compression fractures can also change your height and cause you to lose several inches over time. They can cause your spine to bend forward resulting in a stooped posture and rounded back. Compression fractures can put pressure on the spinal nerves that travel to the legs, which can makes walking difficult and interfere with the function of the bowels and bladder.


Treatment options may include rest and medications to control your pain. You may benefit from a back support and from physical therapy. If these methods are not helpful, you may benefit from a procedure such as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These can help stabilize your spine. Your healthcare provider can develop a care plan that is right for your needs.

Learn more about the Resurgens Spine Center.