Common Causes of Compression Fractures

Compression fractures in the spine are a common orthopedic condition, particularly among older adults. These fractures happen when one or more of the spine’s vertebral bones give way or compress, frequently causing discomfort, restricted movement, and occasionally deformity. Comprehending the typical reasons behind compression fractures is essential for early detection and prevention.

1. Osteoporosis: One of the main causes of compression fractures, particularly in older adults and postmenopausal women, is osteoporosis. Because of this disorder, bones become weaker and are more prone to breaking from even small injuries or stresses. The loss of bone density can lead to fractures of the vertebrae, especially in the lumbar (lower) and thoracic (upper) areas of the spine.

2. Trauma and Accidents: Compression fractures in the spine can result from high-impact trauma or accidents, such as car crashes or falls from a considerable height. These occurrences might result in compression or fracture of the vertebral bones due to the force applied to the spine.

3. Metastatic Cancer: Cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the spine can weaken the vertebrae and increase the risk of compression fractures. Tumors within the spine can erode the bone structure, making it more susceptible to collapse.

4. Osteomyelitis: A bone infection called osteomyelitis has the potential to weaken the damaged bone, particularly the vertebrae. Compression fractures may result in certain instances where the infection weakens the structural integrity of the bone.

5. Medication Side Effects: Extended usage of specific drugs, such corticosteroids, can weaken bones and raise the possibility of compression fractures. These drugs are frequently administered to treat autoimmune disorders and persistent inflammation.

6. Spinal Conditions: Spine abnormalities and an increased risk of compression fractures can result from spine disorders such as ankylosing spondylitis and Paget’s disease.

7. Age-Related Changes: Over time, the aging process naturally weakens the spine’s bones. As we age our bones may lose density and become more prone to fractures, particularly compression fractures.

Preventing compression fractures often involves addressing the underlying causes. For instance, managing osteoporosis with medications and lifestyle changes can reduce the risk in susceptible individuals. Prompt treatment and support for cancer patients can help prevent the spread of tumors to the spine. Furthermore, taking precautions can lower the chance of trauma-related fractures. Examples of these precautions include fall prevention techniques for senior citizens. In order to manage compression fractures and avoid consequences like persistent pain or spinal abnormalities, early identification and intervention are essential.