A compression fracture occurs when a vertebra (a bone in your spine) collapses. It can cause you a great deal of pain and other unpleasant symptoms. Fortunately, a doctor from Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery may offer you a non-invasive treatment or a minimally invasive spinal surgery to correct the problem and reduce your pain symptoms.
Spinal Compression Fractures
Spinal fractures vary in severity. Most often, a spinal compression fracture occurs in the thoracic spine, which is the middle portion of the spine. However, you can develop a compression fracture in any part of the spine.
While pain is a common symptom of compression fractures, it is not the only one. If you have a compression fracture, you may notice numbness or weakness that extends to your arms or legs, depending on the location of the fracture. You may also notice reduced mobility in your back.
Compression Fractures and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is often a contributing factor to compression fractures in your spine. Osteoporosis occurs when you lose too much bone, if your body doesn’t make enough bone, or a combination of both. It causes your bones to become weak and brittle, and more prone to fractures. In fact, for some people, even a sneeze or bump to an area can cause a bone to fracture.
Specifically, a vertebra may collapse when you’re in the middle of normal activities. For example, a spinal compression fracture may occur when you bend forward or downward and place excess pressure on the spine.
Compression Fractures and Metastatic Cancer
Besides osteoporosis, cancer that spreads to your spine can also cause compression fractures. Cancer can destroy bone cells in the vertebra, leading it to become weak. This can cause the bone to eventually collapse.
Issues Caused by Compression Fractures
Often, compression fractures heal on their own, and the pain goes away. However, sometimes, the fracture doesn’t heal and permanently alters the shape of the bone, which can leave permanent effects. The fracture can also impact the strength and shape of your spine, as well as your height. For instance, you could develop a hump, which occurs when your spine protrudes outward and your shoulders slump forward.
If a compression fracture doesn’t heal on its own, your doctor may recommend vertebroplasty – a nonsurgical procedure that involves injecting a medical-grade cement into the fractured vertebra. During the procedure, your practitioner will use imaging to view your spine and target the injection precisely. Once injected, the cement hardens and provides the vertebra with the strength it needs.
Sometimes, doctors recommend a similar procedure that classifies as minimally invasive surgery. During the procedure, an inflatable balloon is inserted near the compression fracture to facilitate the cement insertion in the vertebra.
Why Choose Our Lone Star, CO Spinal Institute for Your Back Problems
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we have surgeons who can perform nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgeries of the spine. Our practitioners thoroughly evaluate patients and find the ideal solutions that meet their needs.
Book an appointment with Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, serving Lone Star and the nearby Colorado region, to find a solution for your back pain today. Call us at 303-790-1800, or use our online appointment booking tool.