A compression fracture is a type of bone break caused by pressure. In this type of fracture, the bone is shattered or crushed. It typically occurs in the vertebra of the spine. It can have a variety of causes:
Sometimes, compression fractures happen because of advanced age and a debilitating condition of the spine. In this case, there is no particular cause other than as a consequence of the aging process.
Typical symptoms of a vertebral, or spinal, compression fracture include:
- Severe back pain worsened by standing or walking
- Weakness in arms or legs
- Problems with bowel or urinary control
- Some people may also have sharp muscle spasm pain in the back area
If you know you have osteoporosis or osteopenia and experience these symptoms, suspect a compression fracture and seek immediate medical treatment.
Cervical Compression Fracture
This type of fracture occurs in the cervical, or neck, the area of the spinal vertebra, as well as the lower back vertebra. However, because the neck vertebra bears less weight than the vertebra below it, it’s less prone to this condition. That doesn’t mean that a cervical compression fracture can’t happen; it can. When it does, the most common symptom is the pain in the neck area. This can be from the bone itself, although many compression fractures are not painful, or it can be from the bone impinging on the spinal cord. Cervical spinal stenosis, where there is a narrowing of the spinal space, can also be caused by cervical compression fractures. Typical symptoms of spinal stenosis include pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness. Walking may be painful, too. If you have neck pain or other related symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek professional treatment right away. There is no need to suffer from compression fractures or spinal stenosis. If you live in or near the Miami area, you can visit this site for more information:
Your text to link… When you contact them, a professional staff member will respond within 24 hours. Same-day appointments are available.
Confirmation of a compression fracture is done through MRI imaging, X-ray and/or CT scans. There may also be a bone scan.
Milder fractures may respond to conservative treatment. This would include rest, a neck collar or back brace and medications:
This is the generic name for Tylenol. It’s a pain reliever, but it has no anti-inflammatory effects. It’s also toxic to the liver when taken in high doses. It doesn’t require a prescription. Be sure to closely follow dosing directions. Never exceed 1000mg per dose or 4000mg within 24 hours. Doses should not be repeated more often than every four hours. Acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Be careful with this drug.
Biphosphonates and calcitonin
Both of these drugs work by strengthening bone.
These are narcotic preparations. They work by altering the brain’s perception of pain. All require a prescription and all carry a certain risk of addiction. All have side effects. However, when used for limited periods of time under proper medical supervision, they are generally safe. Always try non-narcotics first. If they fail, let your doctor know that you’re not getting enough pain relief.
Other treatments include physical therapy and in some cases, surgery. Here at Miami Back and Neck Specialists, we believe in the minimal approach. We first seek an accurate diagnosis. Then we try conservative treatments. They very often achieve satisfactory results. For neck and back pain in the Miami area, you can go here to learn more about expert diagnosis and treatment of your condition: Your text to link…
Surgery is a last resort method of treatment and is usually performed only when less invasive methods have failed. There are three basic types. One is kyphoplasty. This uses a small balloon to create a space between the crushed vertebral bones. Another is vertebroplasty. This procedure uses a special bone cement to repair the damage. The third option is a minimally invasive posterior fusion surgery, where pins, wires, and screws are used to hold the damaged vertebra in the proper position.
If you live in the Miami area, and you suspect you may have a compression fracture, we can help. Just contact us through our website. Your text to link… We will respond quickly and professionally to your request. We may well have a simple solution for your pain. There is no need to just live with it. We warmly welcome new patients, and we look forward to your call.