10 doctors weighed in:

Is a vertebral compression fracture serious?

10 doctors weighed in
David Miller
Family Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: Sure can be

Any vertebral fracture has the potential to be bad.
Compression fractures, depending on the cause, can create lots of problems. Among them are pinched nerves with associated pain syndromes, loss of mobility and others. Depending on the situation, compression fractures can be heralds for more ominous things. You should be seeing a doctor for this, if you haven't already.

In brief: Sure can be

Any vertebral fracture has the potential to be bad.
Compression fractures, depending on the cause, can create lots of problems. Among them are pinched nerves with associated pain syndromes, loss of mobility and others. Depending on the situation, compression fractures can be heralds for more ominous things. You should be seeing a doctor for this, if you haven't already.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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1 comment
Dr. Jonathan Hyde
Most VCFs are painful, and need evaluation for treatments including bracing, observation, PMMA (bone cement) injections, and sometimes surgery. Each fracture has "personality" and needs assessment for progressive collapse and neurologic compromise. Sometimes they are due to more serious conditions, such as cancer, so make sure that a follow-up with a doctor happens.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: It depends

Some patients have pretty minimal pain with compression fractures.
There is one study that as many as one third of women over 65 will have have a compression fracture on a chest xray. Some patients, however have severe pain and can be bedridden. Thankfully, there are good surgical options for those in severe pain. Thank you for your question.

In brief: It depends

Some patients have pretty minimal pain with compression fractures.
There is one study that as many as one third of women over 65 will have have a compression fracture on a chest xray. Some patients, however have severe pain and can be bedridden. Thankfully, there are good surgical options for those in severe pain. Thank you for your question.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Dr. Edward Hellman
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Dr. Kevin Teal
Neurosurgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Depends on degree

Location, severity and associated symptoms determine how serious a compression fracture is.
Cervical and thoracic compression fractures threaten your spinal cord function. Lumbar compression fractures can cause leg weakness or bowel/ bladder problems. Sometimes pain is the only symptom and this can be treated with a brace or bone cement, kyphoplasty. Usually you should be followed for symptoms.

In brief: Depends on degree

Location, severity and associated symptoms determine how serious a compression fracture is.
Cervical and thoracic compression fractures threaten your spinal cord function. Lumbar compression fractures can cause leg weakness or bowel/ bladder problems. Sometimes pain is the only symptom and this can be treated with a brace or bone cement, kyphoplasty. Usually you should be followed for symptoms.
Dr. Kevin Teal
Dr. Kevin Teal
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Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: Compression fracture

This has been treated with activity modification or bracinging for wedges under 30% the bone heals in 6 weeks the pain improves at 3 months check the underlying disease osteoporosis and aggressively treat it to prevent the next one.
Watch your saggital plain alignment(progressive )alignment these are usually low energy fallsi n weak bne without neurologic complications, heal on their own not serio.

In brief: Compression fracture

This has been treated with activity modification or bracinging for wedges under 30% the bone heals in 6 weeks the pain improves at 3 months check the underlying disease osteoporosis and aggressively treat it to prevent the next one.
Watch your saggital plain alignment(progressive )alignment these are usually low energy fallsi n weak bne without neurologic complications, heal on their own not serio.
Dr. Mark Weston
Dr. Mark Weston
Thank
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