Overview and treatment options for vertebral fractures

A vertebral fracture occurs when a vertebra in the spine cracks and has a small thin break in the bone due to stress or other spine conditions, such as arthritis of the spine. The symptoms of a vertebral fracture can be immediate if caused by injury or gradual if caused by the natural degeneration of the spine.

The common symptoms of a vertebral fracture include pain at the location of the fracture, radiating pain to local extremities, rib pain and difficulty moving or bending without pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain. A fractured vertebra due to age may be an indication of the development of future degenerative spine conditions. To learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments of vertebral fractures, read the following article.

Causes of vertebral fractures

Like most spine conditions, the two main causes of vertebral fractures are injury and the natural aging process. For people under the age of 45, the most common cause of vertebral fractures is an injury. This could include a car accident or sports injury, as well as any injury that creates an impact or jolt to the spine.

In the case of injury, the vertebrae of the spine are impacted by force, causing them to compress drastically on each other. In some cases, the intense compression of the vertebrae can actually chip or fracture the bone, resulting in a vertebral fracture. This condition can also be caused by jumping from a significant height and landing with a hard impact.

For people over the age of 45, the most common cause of vertebral fracture is arthritis of the spine. Arthritis of the spine is a natural aging development that causes the bones (vertebrae) of the spine to weaken. As time goes on, the vertebrae become compressed under weight gain and repetitive motion, causing an increased amount of pressure on the vertebrae of the spine. As arthritis weakens the vertebrae and the body compresses the vertebrae, a vertebral fracture might occur.

Symptoms of vertebral fractures

Each person experiences symptoms differently, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s medical history. The most commonly experienced symptoms associated with vertebral fractures include:

  • Sudden back pain
  • Radiating pain into the associated arm or leg
  • Increased pain when walking or standing
  • Limited mobility
  • Stiffness

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you contact your doctor immediately. Vertebral fractures can cause more complex spine conditions and should be treated immediately. Your doctor can help you decide whether or not you should consider conservative treatment options or surgical treatment for your vertebral fracture.

Treatments for vertebral fractures

At Laser Spine Institute, we can help treat vertebral fractures with our minimally invasive stabilization surgery. Our minimally invasive stabilization surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back fusion. We perform our surgery through a small incision and that is muscle sparing to reduce your recovery time.^

Depending on the severity of your vertebral fracture, the surgeon may insert a small stabilization device to help the vertebra heal and prevent future compression in that area. If you are interested in learning more about our minimally invasive procedures, please contact our dedicated team. Our goal is to help inform you about vertebral fractures and the treatment options available to you based on your condition and medical history so you can make an informed decision about your spine care needs.

To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery to relieve vertebral fractures, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.* Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients alleviate the chronic pain and discomfort associated with their spine conditions, and we look forward to helping you recapture your quality of life from your condition.