Compression Fracture Treatment in Wexford, PA
As you age, you may attribute back aches and pains as a normal part of the aging process. Through this process, you lose bone mass and your body has a greater demand for calcium to protect the integrity of bones. If the depletion of calcium is not replaced, the loss in bone density can lead to hairline cracks in spinal vertebrae that begin to increase in size. A compression fraction occurs when these vertebrae weaken and crumble; this may take a period of time to transpire or be the result of an injury. Compression fractures can cause chronic back pain and hinder your daily activities.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Wexford that specializes in compression fracture treatment, call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Martin Gallagher online.
Compression Fracture Risk Factors
While generally everyone over the age of 50 is at an increased risk of a spinal compression fracture, there are other factors that can contribute to its development:
- Race (most prevalent in Caucasians and Asians)
- Weight (thin women are at a higher risk)
- Early menopause
- A history of smoking
- A history of cancer
Osteoporosis tends to be the condition most often associated with compression fractures as it is characterized by the softening and weakening of bones. Affecting 10 million people in the U.S. alone, osteoporosis can rapidly reduce bone mass and increase the likelihood of compression fractures exponentially.
Compression Fracture Symptoms
Vertebral compression fracture symptoms may slowly develop over time or occur suddenly. Some of these symptoms can include:
- Severe pain in the middle or lower spine
- Numbness, tingling or weakness
- Difficulty bending or twisting
- Loss of height
- Becoming hunched over and a hump on your back (dowager's hump)
- Incontinence (if fracture is pushing on the spinal cord)
Since many of these symptoms are often associated with the aches and pains of arthritis or other complications connected to aging, only about a third of compression fractures are ever diagnosed. It is therefore important for you to let your healthcare practitioner know about any back pain you are experiencing. Your healthcare practitioner may choose to utilize image technology like an X-ray, CT scan or MRI to get adequate images of the current state of your spine and to rule out other spinal-related injuries.
Compression Fracture of the Spine Treatment
Your compression fracture treatment will be dependent upon the extent of your pain and discomfort. For compression fractures caused by osteoporosis, you will likely receive pain medication, calcium supplementation and the recommendation to rest. If these at-home therapies do not bring you relief, or your compression fracture is the result of an injury and has caused damaged to your spinal cord, your healthcare practitioner may recommend physical therapy or a back brace.
In extreme cases, where pain is debilitating and relief is not experienced within a few months of non-invasive treatment, surgery may be recommended. Some compression fracture surgeries include:
- Spinal fusion
With any of the above surgeries, the goal is the fuse the vertebrate in order to reduce back pain and restore mobility. As with all surgical procedures, there is a lengthy recovery process which prohibits regular activity. It's important to discuss your options with your healthcare provider to determine a treatment option that best suits your lifestyle needs.
Request more information about a compression fracture of the spine today. Call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Martin Gallagher online.
Medical Wellness Associates
Jeannette, PA 15644
8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm