Compression Fracture

Compression Fracture Q & A

What is a compression fracture?

Your spine is composed of 24 bones (vertebrae) stacked on top of one another, plus your tailbone. These bones bear the majority of your body’s weight and allow you to move. When one of your vertebrae breaks or collapses, you have a compression fracture. Compression fractures usually occur in your middle (thoracic) or lower (lumbar) vertebrae and are most common in older adults.

What causes compression fractures?

The most common cause of compression fractures is osteoporosis, a condition that leaves your bones weak and brittle. When you have osteoporosis, a compression fracture can occur during everyday activities, like sneezing or stepping out of the shower.

Osteoporosis is most common in women who are past menopause. About 25% of postmenopausal women in the United States have suffered a compression fracture due to osteoporosis.

Even if you have a healthy spine, compression fractures can result from severe trauma, such as a hard fall, car accident, or sports injury.

What are the symptoms of a compression fracture?

About two-thirds of people with osteoporosis-related compression fractures don’t have any symptoms. Sometimes, compression fractures cause sudden, sharp back pain that can range from mild to severe.

In addition to pain, signs and symptoms of a compression fracture include:
• Decreased height
• Stooped posture
• Difficulty walking
• Limited spinal mobility
• Numbness or tingling
• Muscle weakness

Over time, pain and symptoms of a compression fracture may worsen and leave you unable to complete daily tasks on your own.

How are compression fractures diagnosed and treated?

First, the team at Specialists in Spine Surgery reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam. They may also take imaging tests, such as an X-ray.

Then, they discuss the best treatment options for your particular needs. Depending on the cause and severity of your compression fracture, treatment may include:
• Pain-relieving medication
• Wearing a back brace
• Physical therapy

If these treatments don’t relieve your pain and symptoms, the team at Specialists in Spine Surgery may recommend surgery. They have extensive expertise in minimally invasive procedures, such as vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty, to treat compression fractures.

To find relief from a vertebral compression fracture, call Specialists in Spine Surgery TODAY!

Our Services

From Our Top Rated Health Staff

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Spinal Stenosis

Degenerative Disc Disease

Severe Neck and Back Pain

Disc Herniation


Disc Replacement

Compression Fracture