Vertebral Fracture

Vertebral fractures often occur in car accidents and other extreme traumas where more pressure is put on the bone than it can stand. The most common type of spine fractures are compression fractures which vary in severity. Low bone mass, or osteoporosis, is a major factor for spinal compressions. Vertebral bodies carry up to 90 percent of the body’s weight so the shift in weight may cause pain and loss of ability to perform normal daily activities. Furthermore, the additional pressure on adjacent vertebra increases the risk of additional vertebral compression fractures.


Symptoms of a vertebral fracture vary depending on the size of the fracture and its alteration of normal spinal nerve spacing. If nerve compression occurs in the upper (cervical) region of the spine pain or numbness may present in the neck, shoulders, arms or hands. If nerve compression occurs in the lower (lumbar) region of the spine pain or numbness may present in the buttocks, thighs, claves, or feet.


Minor fractures that do not result in spinal instability can be treated without surgery with reduced physical activity, rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. For more severe fractures our spine surgeons may suggest performing a minimally invasive procedure called Kyphoplasty that alleviates the pain and helps to stabilize, restore height and reduce deformity.