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Compression Fracture

Like other bones in your body, the bones of the spine, called vertebrae, can fracture.  These fractures are usually a result of osteoporosis, pressure on the spine, metastatic disease, or a fall or other type of injury.  A spinal fracture is called a vertebral compression fracture.

Compression fractures can cause mild to severe pain depending on how they occur.  Treatment usually includes pain medication, rest and bracing.  Medication simply relieves the pain but bracing will restrict movement, relieve pressure and allow the fracture to heal.  For more severe fractures, surgery may be required but is not usually necessary.  Vertebroplasty, a minimally invasive procedure to place a cement-like substance into the vertebral body, can provide immediate relief for most compression fractures.  Taking measures to prevent compression fractures is the most effective treatment and involves exercise, vitamin supplements and medications.