Non-surgical Treatment for Vertebral Compression Fractures so You Can Get Back in the Game of Life Without the Pain and Debilitation.
Vertebral Compression Fractures
What Causes a Vertebral Compression Fracture?
A vertebra is one of the bones in your spine. The part at the front of your vertebra is called the ‘body.’ This ‘body’ is composed of dense bone which can be damaged by injury or weakened by disease. If it breaks or collapses, it is called a vertebral compression fracture. A vertebral compression fracture happens when the vertebra becomes compressed due to trauma.
There are several possible causes of vertebral compression fractures which include:
- Osteoporosis: Dr. Ali says that osteoporosis is the most common cause of vertebral compression fracture as it is a disease that reduces your bone density. The bone loses its strength and is prone to fracture.
- Pathological fracture: It is a fracture occurring in your vertebra due to the pre-existing disease at the fracture site. It is most common with a disease such as cancer in the bone caused by metastasis cancer such as breast, prostate or lungs. It can also occur due to conditions like Paget’s disease of bone and osteomyelitis.
- Trauma: Accidents are unavoidable which cause your bone to break. If you fall from a height and land on your feet or buttocks, or you are a victim of a car accident, it can result in a vertebral compression fracture.
What are the Symptoms of a Vertebral Compression Fracture?
The symptoms of vertebral compression fractures, as described by Dr. Ali, are as follows:
- Sudden onset of pain: You will feel pain in the lower back, but it may occur in the middle or upper back and neck as well. You may also experience hip, abdominal or thigh pain.
- Changes in your spine: You will have limited mobility in your spine. It will also result in curvature of the spine.
- Affects mobility: You will also have difficulty standing, walking or performing other activities. Such activities increase the pain, forcing you to be immobile to avoid pain.
- Bladder control: Vertebral compression fractures hurt your bladder. You may experience the inability to urinate.
- You will also feel numbness, tingling, and weakness due to compression of the nerve at the fracture site.
- Breathing problems: Vertebral compression fractures affects the lungs as there is no space for your lungs to expand due to the thoracic curve.
- Altered balance: The shape of your spine is altered due to the fracture, resulting in altered balance. You will find difficulty walking.
How are Vertebral Compression Fractures Treated?
Dr. Ali has several years of experience in treating vertebral compression fractures. He will conduct a thorough examination of your individual case and will outline an exact course of treatment for you, to help you heal and get back to living your normal life.
Most people suffering from vertebral compression fractures do not require surgery. The body’s natural healing process can last up to three months for a spinal compression fracture, but you may notice an improvement of the pain in a matter of days or weeks. Your course of treatment may include analgesic pain medicines, cutting back of physical activity, wearing a back brace and even bed rest.
What can I Expect During Treatment?
Dr. Ali may advise you to avoid any high impact activities, including exercise and sports. You will also be restricted in the types of daily activities you are allowed to perform and should refrain from bending, twisting, or lifting anything. You may be required to wear a back brace for support while the compression fracture heals. If non-surgical treatments do not success in reducing the pain and it remains significant after a period of 2-3 months, Dr. Ali may discuss the possibility of surgery.
If you would like to find out more about our treatments for vertebral compression fractures or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please reach out to us today and we will assist you in getting the help you need.