Compression fractures is a collapse of a vertebra. It may be due to trauma or due to a weakening of the vertebra (compare with burst fracture). This weakening is seen in patients with osteoporosis or osteogenesis imperfecta, lytic lesions from metastatic or primary tumors or infection. In healthy patients it is most often seen in individuals suffering extreme vertical shocks, such as ejecting from an ejection seat.
The most common cause for vertebral compression fractures is osteoporosis. Literally meaning “porous bone,”osteoporosis occurs with age as bones become thinner and weaker. This painful, debilitating disorder is a growing problem. It strikes women more often than men and the frail are at special risk.
If left untreated, a spinal compression fracture can cause severe pain that could persist for up to three months so that even standing and walking are uncomfortable.
We treat compression fractures is a minimally invasive procedure that specifically addresses painful vertebral compression fractures. This procedure often results in early reduction of pain, disability and deformity. The procedure works best when the fracture is detected early. As with any fracture, rehabilitation and physical therapy may be recommended to help speed recovery after kyphoplasty. Most patients are encouraged to resume normal activities as soon as possible.
Seen in lateral views in plain x-ray films, compression fractures of the spine characteristically appear as wedge deformities, with greater loss of height anteriorly than posteriorly and intact pedicles in the anteroposterior view.
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