Treatment options may include:
- Back bracing
- Bed rest
- Bone density stabilizers
- Cold compress
- Pain medication (over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Physical activity (increase or reduction)
- Prescription pain medications
- Loss of height
- Numbness and/or weakness in arms or legs
- Pain in back, arms, or legs
- Pain in the upper, middle, or lower back
- Urinary Retention
DIAGNOSIS / TESTS
Diagnostic tests include:
- Computerized tomography (CT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Medical history review
- Nuclear bone scan
- Physical examination
Common forms include:
- Burst fracture (during collapse, it bursts in several directions)
- Crush fracture (entire vertebra collapses)
- Wedge fracture (front of vertebra collapses but the back does not)
Causes & contributing factors may include:
- Pathogenic fracture
- Most vertebral compression fractures heal with appropriate treatment allowing patients to return to their everyday activities.
- When a spinal compression fracture is allowed to heal naturally, there should be a significant reduction in pain within days or weeks, but the pain can last as long as three months.
- A vertebral compression fracture may be the first indication that a person has cancer.
- Thin women have a higher risk of having vertebral compression fractures.