Compression Fractures: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Compression fractures are small breaks in the bones that make up your spinal column called the vertebrae. The breaks occur in the vertebral body, which is the thick, rounded portion on each vertebra’s front. The spine becomes weak and can collapse due to bone fractures. The posture is impacted over time by these fractures. The person has a “hunched over” appearance due to the forward curving of the spine (kyphosis).

Specifically in the lower thoracic region of the spine, compression fractures typically occur in the thoracic (middle) region of the spine. They are also referred to as vertebral compression fractures (VCF) by healthcare professionals. Osteoporosis is frequently the cause. However, they can also develop after trauma (such a car accident) or as a result of spinal malignancies.

Health care providers treat compression fractures with prescribed medications and a special type of back brace. In some cases, a minimally invasive procedure to strengthen the vertebrae and stabilize their spine may be needed.