Vertebral compression fractures occur when the bones in your spine become broken as a result of osteoporosis or trauma. Typically the level of trauma that is necessary in order to break these spinal bones is quite large. In a number of circumstances, people who are elderly or people that are suffering from cancer can experience breakage in these same bones without much, if any, force required.
The vertebrae that are most commonly broken in the case of a vertebral compression fracture are those located in the lower half of the back. In order to arrive at the best possible vertebral compression fracture outcomes is going to mean recognizing the symptoms of such an injury and seeking medical treatment immediately.
Symptoms of a Vertebral Compression Fracture
The presence of pain, primarily in the lower back though it may also occur in the neck or the upper back as well. Some people that are experiencing a vertebral compression fraction may complain of experiencing pain in the abdominal area, hip area or in the thighs as well.
The presence of weakness, numbness or tingling, which are symptoms that could possibly indicate the compression of the spinal nerves at the site of the fracture.
Losing control over stool or urine or the inability to urinate. Should these symptoms present themselves, it is possible that the vertebral compression fracture is actually pushing on the spinal chord.
In most cases, the vertebral compression fracture will be able to heal all on its own without presenting any problems. However, there are also a number of other potential vertebral compression fracture outcomes depending on the severity of the fracture. Some severe fractures may actually require surgery in order to return to the spine to the proper alignment or to keep the spine in its proper alignment. Additionally, a pathological back fracture may have its own set of potential vertebral compression fracture outcomes because these are commonly caused by cancer, preventing them from ever healing at all.
A person that is dealing with a vertebral compression fracture that is being caused as a result of osteoporosis can take certain steps in order to decrease their chances of any further fractures by making sure to get an adequate dietary supplementation of calcium, proper exercise and, if indicated, a hormone replacement as well. Here, vertebral compression fracture outcomes are usually positive as long as steps are taken in order to prevent additional fractures from being sustained.
Fractures that are causing chronic and severe pain have their own unique set of vertebral compression fracture outcomes. These fractures are going to benefit from taking a multi disciplinary approach including the assistance of a primary physician, a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist and a referral to a pain clinic as well. Because the outcome of this fracture is causing pain that is severe and chronic, extra support will be needed to address the pain even once the fracture has been healed.
Written By: Updated: July 14,2011