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Common Treatment Options For Spinal Compression Fractures

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Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones in the body gradually grow brittle and weaker. This can be caused due to a change in hormones or because of a vitamin D or calcium deficiency. If you're suffering from osteoporosis, you may be at risk for spinal compression fractures. A spinal compression fracture can be very painful, and you will need medical treatment. Continue reading to learn more about treatment options that are typically used for spinal compression fractures:

Pain Management

Depending on the degree of the spinal compression fracture, your doctor may advise you to allow the fracture to heal on its own. In these cases, you will be prescribed a mixture of medications that can help relieve nerve, bone, and muscle pain. While it can take weeks for a spinal compression fracture to heal, narcotic pain medications will most likely be prescribed for just a short time due to the risk of addiction. But after the course of prescription pain medication runs out, most people can manage the pain with over-the- counter medications like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Bed Rest

Spending some time in bed can help your compression fracture heal, but too much laying around can also worsen your osteoporosis. When you're dealing with a spinal compression fracture, your doctor may recommend several days of bed rest followed by activity modification.

Wearing a Back Brace

You may be required to wear a rigid back brace while your spinal compression fracture heals. The back brace will work much like a cast on a broken leg-- it will keep your spine stable and prevent movement in order to promote healing of the vertebrae. 

Treatment for Osteoporosis

If you have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis and a spinal compression fracture, it is important to closely follow a treatment plan to address your osteoporosis and bone density loss. Your doctor will most likely prescribe a medication that will strengthen your bones, which may be beneficial for your current fracture and can really help prevent future spinal compression fractures. 

Spinal Fusion Surgery

For a severe spinal compression fracture or one that does not heal on its own, spinal fusion surgery may be performed. During this type of surgery, metal rods or plates are screwed onto the vertebrae to prevent all movement. Bone grafting is typically done during a spinal fusion surgery, and over time the fractured vertebrae will grow together and become permanently fused. 

For more information on spinal compression fractures, check out websites like