I cam across this fascinating recent Q&A about compression fractures, which sadly are very commonly suffered by those with osteoporosis: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/health/x1588271712 The two things I took away from this piece are, 1) if you have osteoporosis and back pain, don't wait, hesitate or otherwise chalk it up to old age, but seek medical intervention soon -- there may be treatment options rather than living with pain; and 2) if, like me, you have various risk factors for future osteoporosis (family history, etc.) then the description of what exactly happens to your verterbrae may motivate you to renew your efforts on taking calcium and Vitamin D, doing weight-bearing exercise, and generally being conscious of your bone health to help avoid such problems in the years to come.
If you've recently been diagnosed with bone loss, fractures are the number one concern. Spinal fractures are very common. Below is an explanation on what they are, how they are diagnosed and how they should be treated.
What is a spinal compression fracture?
Compression fractures cause your vertebral bone and body to collapse, in the spine. This generally occurs in the posterior portion of the vertebra giving it a wedge shape. Multiple compression fractures can occur in more than one area of the spine which can cause a loss of height .
What causes compression fracture?
Spinal compression fractures are a common result of the bone weakening caused by osteoporosis and low bone density also known as osteopenia. These can occur from a simple action like, coughing, sneezing, bending forward, stretching or falls. You may be having small hairline fractures of the vertebra which can turn into a compression fracture from the weakening of the bon...
External fixation involves the use of pins through the bone attached to a steel rod outside the limb. External fixation is used primarily to stabilize transverse fractures. Some limb fractures can be readily realigned by a physician and then firmly immobilized to allow healing, but complicated fractures may require surgery if the limb is to recover fully in both strength and sensitivity. Some fractures need the surgical application of traction . Surgery thus forms an essential part of fracture therapies. The initial aim of surgery is to realign the ends of bone at the break so that they exactly reconstitute the original bone. This may be done by: External manipulation - the bone is pulled from the outer end. Anesthesia may be used. Open surgery performed under general anesthesia. In complicated fractures, additional surgical techniques will also be required to repair damage to associated tissues surrounding the break. The second aim of the physician is to retain the alignment by immobilizin...
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