The Symptoms Of A Compression Fracture Due To Osteoporosis And How It’s Treated

One of the unfortunate side effects of osteoporosis is that it puts you at a higher risk of a spinal fracture. Your risk of a fracture in any bone, such as a hip or arm is increased, but fractures in the vertebrae are more common. These can happen when you fall or when you make a sudden forceful movement such as when you sneeze or cough. Below is a look at the symptoms you may notice when you fracture your back and what your doctor can do to help:

The Symptoms Of A Fractured Vertebra

The primary symptom of a fractured vertebra is a sudden pain. This alerts you to damage in your spine. Over time, the pain can become chronic and bother you when you're in certain positions. The pain from fractured vertebrae is caused by compression of a nerve in your spinal column. These are often called compression fractures for that reason.

Depending on how the nerve in your spine is affected, the pain may radiate down your leg or arm. Changing positions can take pressure off the nerve and give momentary relief while other positions pinch the nerve and cause increased pain. In addition, if you develop multiple fractures, it might affect your posture. Your shoulders may bend forward or your spine may take on a curved shape.

Treating A Compression Fracture With Rest

Compression fractures generally heal on their own in a matter of months. Although osteoporosis makes your bones weak, they can still heal after a fracture. Your doctor may have you rest for a while to take pressure off your back. You may also be given a back brace to wear. You may be able to manage your pain with over-the-counter medications, moist heat, and ice packs. If your fracture is slow to heal, or if it causes you a lot of discomfort, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Surgical Treatment For A Compression Fracture

The surgery to repair a compression fracture is minimally invasive. You'll be given a local or general anesthetic so you won't feel any pain during the procedure. The doctor inserts a needle into your back so bone cement can be injected into the fractured area. The cement seals the fracture and stabilizes the vertebra which puts an end to painful nerve pinching. There is no prolonged recovery for this type of surgery since there is no incision. While your pain should be greatly relieved, you may still have some soreness due to nerve inflammation and irritation that will take some time to heal.

If you have osteoporosis and you're experiencing back pain, talk to your doctor so you can have imaging tests done. A compression fracture shows up on X-rays and other imaging tests, so your doctor can make a definite diagnosis and begin treatment to relieve your pain.

Contact a medical center like Radius for more information and assistance.