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Vertebral Compression

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Correct Vertebral Compression fractures with the help of the experts at LA Pain Specialist.

Your spine allows you to walk, bend, and move normally. When any of the vertebrae in it are damaged, you could suffer immense pain and limited mobility. You can protect the health and integrity of your spine by learning more about the causes, treatment, and prevention of vertebral compression.

  • Women get vertebral compression fractures more often than men
  • Surgery may be necessary because the fractures often do not heal on their own

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What it Is

Vertebral compression is a type of fracture in the spine. It occurs when the block-like structure of a vertebra suffers trauma and is broken.

Vertebral compression fractures do not heal on their own in most cases and cause significant pain that cannot be relieved with over-the-counter or even prescription medications. You must undergo specialized medical treatment to find relief from the pain and also to regain your normal range of motion.

Cause of Vertebral Compression

Various factors contribute to or directly cause vertebral compression fractures. They occur most often in people who suffer from health conditions like osteoporosis, or a thinning of the bones, as well as cancer particularly bone cancer or some types of leukemia.

However, other people within certain demographics or with certain lifestyle habits may also find themselves at risk of developing vertebral compression fractures. These injuries occur in higher incidences in people who are:

  • Elderly
  • White or Asian
  • Smokers
  • Underweight
  • Going through early menopause
Spine affected with vertebral compression
Spine image to show treatment for vertebral compression

Treatment for Vertebral Compression Fractures

Doctors have limited options when it comes to treating vertebral compression fractures. The two most common procedures utilized today for these injuries are vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty.

Vertobroplasty is a procedure that involves the injection of a cement-like substance directly into the fractured vertebra. The cement substance is designed to bind the fracture, stabilize the bone, and reduce or eliminate pain. This procedure is commonly done in patients who suffer from osteoporosis.

The other common treatment, kyphoplasty, is a minimally invasive surgery that likewise can stabilize the bone and eliminate or reduce pain. It also can restore some of the vertebral height in the spine itself.

The type of treatment that you receive will depend on the underlying cause of the vertebral compression and your overall health. You may not be a viable candidate for either procedure if you suffer from cancer or are of advanced age.

Vertebral Compression Fracture Prevention

People may be able to prevent vertebral compression fractures by adopting healthier lifestyles and avoiding detrimental habits like smoking. While you cannot avoid fractures due to your age or race, you can avoid those that develop because of poor diet, being underweight, or not consuming enough nutrients like calcium.

As such, you can safeguard your spinal health by eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough exercise each day. You should stop smoking and avoid drinking an excess of alcohol, which can rob your bones of the nutrients they need for strength.

You also may be able to avoid vertebral compression fractures by undergoing routine laboratory tests each year. Your doctor can monitor your bone health and take appropriate measures to prevent or stabilize vertebral compression fractures.

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I have been dealing with pain ever since a car accident years ago but really didn't want to resort to surgery. Los Angeles Pain Specialist has helped me and was patient with me while finding a non-invasive option.
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