Compression Fracture

Neurosurgery located in Birmingham, AL

Compression Fracture services offered in Birmingham, AL

Up to 1 million Americans suffer a spine compression fracture each year. Though painful, various treatments can restore your mobility and promote healing. The board-certified neurosurgeons offer high-quality care for compression fractures at Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine in Birmingham, Alabama. Call the office to request a compression fracture consultation today, or make an appointment online.

Compression Fracture

What is a compression fracture?

A compression fracture is a small crack or break in a vertebra (a bone in your spine). 

Anyone can have a compression fracture, but they’re particularly common in women aged 50 and older. That’s because women of this age are more likely to have osteoporosis –– a disease that causes the bones to become weak and porous.

What are the symptoms of a compression fracture?

Symptoms of a compression fracture include:

  • Back pain
  • Reduced spine flexibility
  • Hunched over appearance
  • Loss of height
  • Pinched nerves

If the compression fracture is in your lower back, you may experience bowel or bladder problems, like urinary incontinence.

What causes compression fractures?

Most compression fractures occur because of osteoporosis, a disease that causes your bones to weaken with age. You might suffer a compression fracture due to a traumatic injury, like a car accident, or because of abnormal growth, like a spine tumor.

How is a compression fracture diagnosed?

Your Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine provider reviews your health charts and asks about your symptoms.

Then, they complete a physical exam. Your provider checks your posture and spinal alignment and gently presses on your spine to identify sensitive areas. They then touch the bottoms of your feet with special tools, looking for signs of nerve damage like numbness or tingling.

Last, your provider orders diagnostic imaging, like X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. These procedures capture detailed photos of your vertebrae, intervertebral discs, and the surrounding soft tissues.

How are compression fractures treated?

Treatment of compression fractures depends on their location, severity, and effect on your quality of life. Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine may recommend:

  • Prescription pain relief medication
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs
  • A back brace to support your vertebrae
  • Prescription medications to strengthen your bones

Surgery might be necessary if your fracture is severe and conservative treatments don’t provide significant relief. Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine offers various minimally invasive surgical procedures to relieve pain, stabilize the bones in your spine, and encourage mobility.

Can a compression fracture be prevented?

Living a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of a compression fracture. Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine recommends eating a balanced diet, avoiding drinking alcohol excessively, and quitting smoking. They highly encourage seeing your primary care physician for routine checkups and screenings.

Call Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine to receive treatment for a compression fracture today, or make an appointment online.