COMPRESSION FRACTURES of the spine may be of the lower back (Lumbar) or mid back (Thoracic) and are frequently caused by Osteoporosis or after trauma to the spine. Osteoporosis related fractures are somewhat more common in women with aging. They are also common in people who have been on steroids for a long time for treatment of other conditions. The fractures may be quite painful with any movement of the spine. Patients may find they cannot walk or do any any of their usual activities due to pain.
TREATMENT may initially include pain medication (usually a narcotic) and rest.
A custom made hard shell brace custom fit to the patient's body may be helpful, but
off the shelf back braces usually are quite inadequate. Sometimes symptoms of severe pain may decrease over a few weeks, or pain may take months to reslove, or may become chronic. If this occurs, there may be detrimental atrophy of muscles and even pneumonia from not breathing deeply due to pain and bed confinement. Very helpful and often almost immediately curative treatments are: Kyphoplasty and Vertebroplasty