Spine Compression Fractures

Spine compression fracture occurs when bone collapses as a result of osteoporosis, cancer or injury.

Spine Compression Fractures

Osteoporosis, which frequently leads to spine fractures, is a condition in which bones become thin and fragile. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until their bones become so weak that a simple strain, twist of the body, bump or fall causes a bone fracture. Fractures may occur in the hip, wrist, ribs or elsewhere, but one of the more common sites is in the spine. Forty-four million Americans have thinning bones and are at increased risk for the disease. Of these 44 million, 10 million suffer from osteoporosis. Eighty percent of those who are at risk or affected by the disease are women. Osteoporosis causes more than 1.5 million fractures a year, of which 700,000 are spinal (vertebral) fractures.

Risk factors

  • Being female
  • Being thin or having a small frame
  • Advanced age
  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Being postmenopausal
  • Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
  • Anorexia or bulimia
  • A diet low in calcium
  • Long-term use of medications such as corticosteroids or anticonvulsants
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol


Kyphoplasty / Vertebroplasty are effective minimally invasive procedures which treat fractures of spinal vertebra usually caused by osteoporosis. A needle is inserted through the skin and into the fractured vertebra. A special medical grade bone cement is injected into the bone to stabilize it. Open surgery is not required because the interventional radiologist is able to guide the needle to the spot using special X-ray equipment. The procedure takes from one to two hours to perform, depending on how many bones are treated. Usually, the procedure is performed with mild sedation and local anesthesia. Most patients experience immediate pain relief after treatment. Many people can resume normal daily activities within hours to days after treatment.


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