A common symptom of compression fracture is intense and sudden back pain. This type of injury happens when the vertebrae, or spine’s bones, are damaged to the point where they collapse or break. It mostly occurs in the lower back of the spine. This is a serious condition that needs immediate treatment as it results in severe pain, limited mobility, and other problems. But you can recover with proper treatment.
WHAT CAUSES COMPRESSION FRACTURES IN THE SPINE?
Infections– Certain infections such as TB or osteomyelitis can weaken the spine’s bones and cause fractures. This is particularly true if there is a significant amount of swelling or inflammation in the area, as this can put additional strain on vertebrae that are already fragile, increasing the risk of fracture.
Osteoporosis– Common symptom of osteoporosis is compression fractures. Bones that are fragile and unable to support your body’s weight are more likely to fracture under additional stress. If osteoporosis is severe, a person’s daily activities may cause a bone fracture such as getting out of the car or sneezing.
Trauma– Accidents and falls also lead to compression fractures. It is most common in elder people who have weak bones due to osteoporosis and is more likely to fall due to age-related issues including decreased muscle strength and balance is especially prone to compression fractures.
Metastatic Tumors– Cancerous tumors that have spread to the spine’s bones are metastatic tumors. These tumors can put pressure on the bones, causing pain weakening, and destroying the vertebra, increasing your risk of injury.
WHO HAS A HIGH PROBABILITY OF SUFFERING FROM COMPRESSION FRACTURES?
Osteoporosis increases the risk of compression fractures in women over 50. The risk of getting compression factors increases with age, in all people. A compression fracture is more likely to occur in people who have already experienced one.
People who have osteoporosis and cancer are at higher risk of spinal compression fractures. The doctor will check compression fractures if you have been diagnosed with certain cancers, such as multiple myeloma and lymphoma. The main cause of spinal compression fracture is osteoporosis. There are some people who are at higher risk because of :
- White and Asian women are more prone to compression fractures.
- Thin women are more vulnerable.
- Women who are over 50 and above are at higher risk.
- Smokers experience a faster loss of bone density than non-smokers.
Approximately two-thirds of spinal compression fractures go undiagnosed because many people believe that back pain is simply a symptom of aging and arthritis. If left untreated osteoporosis can cause more fractures. Treatment for osteoporosis will greatly reduce your risk, but it won’t prevent you from suffering another compression fracture.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF COMPRESSION FRACTURES?
Its symptoms vary, from mild to severe. Some individuals may not even show symptoms. X-rays for another condition may reveal the fracture. However, many patients experience pain when trying to stand or walk.
Its symptoms include :
- Sharp pain in the lower back which may worsen with twisting or bending. Standing or walking makes the pain worse, it gets better when you lie down.
- You may experience pain or difficulty performing some movements as a result of compression fractures in your back.
- The vertebral column may become misaligned due to compression fracture, making it difficult to stand straight.
The back may curve as a result of compression fractures, creating a visible deformity.
- Loss of height as the back curves.
- Mobility or flexibility of the spine decreases.
- Nerve damage and pinched nerves can make it difficult to walk and cause tingling and numbness in the back.
- Bladder and bowel problems in case of severe, untreated fractures.
HOW TO TREAT COMPRESSION FRACTURES?
Depending on the severity and location of the fracture, compression fractures can be treated in a number of different methods. Pain medication and physical therapy can reduce pain and swelling if you have mild compression fractures. In more serious situations, surgery may be required to stabilize the spine and repair any harm, which includes surgical fusion, instrumentation, and vertebroplasty.