Compression fractures happen almost exclusively in the spine, and Dr. Nikesh Seth specializes in offering pain relief and healing for this often painful condition. At Integrated Pain Consultants, natural and progressive pain management is prioritized. A compression fracture can often be confused with “back pain.” However, it’s defined as a decrease of 15 – 20 percent of a vertebra’s height due to a fracture (break).
Most compression fractures are caused by osteoporosis. Although they can happen anywhere in the spine, they’re most common the upper back. Most happen in the mid-upper back, but in rare cases can occur near the neck or in the lower back. Osteoporosis, or weak bones, can cause a number of breaks including a vertebral fracture, wedge fracture, or osteoporotic fracture—all are types of compression fractures.
Wedge fractures are the most common type of compression fracture, but there are also burst fractures and crush fractures. A burst fracture causes a height loss in both front and back parts of the vertebrae. Crush fractures happen when the bone entirely breaks.
All vertebral fractures are usually coupled with acute back pain. Sometimes it can become a chronic deformity, as seen in a dowager’s hump. Compression fractures can lead to a person losing height, suffering from crowded internal organs, and losing muscle mass. Every year, 700,000 people in the US suffer compression fractures from osteoporosis. It’s especially prevalent in postmenopausal women with Spine Health reporting that 25 percent of postmenopausal women have a compression fracture.
Women experience compression fractures four times more often than men, but anyone is at risk. In fact, 25 percent of men 50+ will experience some type of bone fracture. Fortunately, there are options for treating compression fractures beyond traditional surgery.
Kyphoplasty is a type of relatively non-invasive surgery that involves filling a collapsed vertebra with a strong reinforcement. Although kyphoplasty itself is a “surgical filling,” it does not involve manipulation of bone or muscle beyond filling the compressed vertebrae. It can restore shape and alleviate pain. It can also be coupled with a variety of pain management techniques. Find out more by contacting Integrated Pain Consultants today and scheduling your appointment.