A vertebral compression fracture occurs when a bone located in the spine collapses. This occurs due to increased pressure.
A tumor or a hard fall can lead to a vertebral compression fracture. They are also more common with age because of loss of bone mass.
Vertebral compression fractures cause severe back pain. You might also experience pain from standing up or walking. Many patients also experience weakness or numbness in the legs or arms. Your pain can be affected by the number of vertebra involved in the fracture.
There are minimally invasive surgical procedures that can be used to treat vertebral compression fractures. One of these procedures is referred to as kyphoplasty. During this procedure, a probe is placed into the spine near the fracture site. A balloon is then inserted into each side of the vertebra and inflated until the vertebra reaches its correct height. Next, the balloon is removed and the remaining space is filled with specialized cement substance.