Osteoporotic vertebral fracture, also known as compression fracture, is a condition of the spine. The simplest way to detect the issue is by visiting a doctor when you feel pain in the back. Usually this pain is limited to the lower back, but with time, the discomfort may spread upward. Here is a look at some of the things you should know about the condition, if you have been diagnosed with the same.
Causes of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fracture
Several things may cause the condition. For instance, osteoporosis is a major contributing factor for such a fracture. Other causes for the disease include underlying conditions that can affect proper development of the bone. Furthermore, accidents are often responsible for such fractures. With age, men and women begin to lose bone density and end up with osteoporosis. At this stage of the condition, the bones become hollow and thus, they have a greater chance of fracture than a healthy bone.
Since it is a spinal fracture, affliction with such a condition will mean that much of your mobility and ability to do work diminishes. Here are some common symptoms of osteoporotic vertebral fracture aside from back pain–
- Pain increases when you walk or stand
- Such a fracture may decrease your height
- Trouble having to bend down and twist the body.
- Shoulders may stoop.
- Strain on the spine will increase the pain experienced and even lifting relatively lightweight objects may become difficult
- Lifting heavy items can be difficult and the pain may become too much to bear.
Treatment depends on the cause of the condition. For instance, if the compression fracture results from osteoporosis, doctors will prescribe medication for the pain and the underlying osteoporosis as well. The pain can last for anywhere between a few weeks to a month or even longer. Certain medications are used to provide relief from some of the pain.
Apart from the medication, doctors may also advice certain lifestyle changes. For instance, bed rest is recommended to patients during such a fracture. However, osteoporosis patients should ensure not to stay in this inactive state for a long period, as their condition may worsen.
In acute cases of compression fractures in the spine, patients may need to undergo a surgical procedure in order to find relief from the discomfort and pain. Vertebroplasty, spinal fusion surgery and kyphoplasty, are the three common surgeries used to rectify the compression fracture. While Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty are minimally invasive procedures, spinal fusion surgery is a complicated treatment, which is usually the last resort.