When a bone in the spine collapses, it is called a vertebral compression fracture. These fractures happen most commonly in the lower thoracic and lumbar spine.
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WHAT CAUSES A COMPRESSION FRACTURE?
In the case of osteoporosis (weakening of the bone), the bone can become too weak to withstand the normal pressure applied to the bone during activities as simple as sitting or bending forwards. This is the most common reason for a vertebral compression fracture. In the absence of osteoporosis, vertebral compression fractures occur when excessive force is placed on the spine. This most commonly occurs with hard falls, jumps from high platforms, or car accidents. The other common cause of a vertebral fracture is cancer, either primary bone cancer or metastatic disease. X-ray, CT, MRI, or nuclear bone scans may be helpful in making the proper diagnosis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COMPRESSION FRACTURES?
- Severe back pain
- Numbness/tingling in the affected area