Vertebral compression fractures are a common cause of pain. They become more common with age, due to a lack of bone density. The fracture occurs when a bone in the spine collapses due to increased pressure, which causes significant pain. Outside factors, such as a tumor or a fall, can cause the fracture.
What are the symptoms?
The most frequent symptoms of vertebral compression fracture include severe back pain and increased pain from walking or standing. Numbness or weakness can sometimes occur in the arms and legs. The pain that you experience varies according to the number of vertebrae involved.
How is it treated?
Vertebral compression fractures can be treated through procedures that correct a collapsed bone. One of these procedures is called kyphoplasty and involves the use of a probe placed into the spine near the site of the fracture. A balloon is inserted into each side of the vertebra and then inflated until the desired height is reached. The balloons are then removed and the empty space is filled with a special cement.