A compression fracture occurs when an injury to a spinal bone (vertebra) causes it to fracture and collapse (compress). A weakened vertebra may collapse because of a minor injury or without an obvious injury, often as the result of osteoporosis.
When several vertebrae have been fractured, a person may lose height. Compression fractures may lead to a hump in the upper back (dowager's hump) and may cause back pain.
Treatment of compression fractures may include treating the osteoporosis with medicines and calcium and treating the pain with analgesics or calcitonin. Surgery may be needed if there is any loss of function because of bone pressing on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.