Wedge Fractures and Back Pain

Wedge Fractures and Back Pain

A wedge fracture is a form of a vertebral compression fracture that produced debilitating pain that hinders the ability to walk. These fractures typically occur in the thoracic spine, as it is responds poorly to hyperflexion. Postmenopausal women are more vulnerable to vertebral compression fractures, affecting nearly 25 percent in the United States. People are at a higher risk for these fractures as they age, with about 40 percent of 80-year-old American women affected.

At American Spine, we know that early treatment is vital for recovery. However, this is not always the case. We encourage people to come in and seek treatment at any stage of their condition. With locations in Murrieta, Corona, and Rancho Cucamonga, American Spine is the leading pain practice on the west coast.

The annual direct medical cost of vertebral compression fracture treatment in the United States was $1.1 billion in the United States, according to data collected in 2008. This number is expected to rise by 50 percent by the year 2025. In addition to the monetary strain, vertebral compression fractures produce physical and psychosocial limitations. Elderly individuals risk further disability by sustaining such injury.

The most common causes of a vertebral compression fracture are osteoporosis and cancer. Individuals should consider the following information, as it includes major risk factors for developing osteoporosis and being vulnerable to compression fractures:

  • Age: 50 years old and older
  • Family history
  • Personal history of broken bones
  • Weight: Thin and obese people
  • Race/ethnicity: Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, African American
  • Diet: Low calcium, vitamin D intake
  • Low hormone levels
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking

Traditionally, our providers would recommend rest with hyperextension of the affected vertebra for 7 to 10 days and the use of a back brace. Physical therapy would then begin after the brace. However, conservative treatment will not always be affective. If your condition does not improve within six weeks, your physician may recommend surgery. Surgical intervention to correct a wedge fracture works to restore height and stability to the spinal column. A spinal instrumentation and fusion is performed by your surgeon to join and solidify the damaged area.

Talk to your American Spine physician about treatment options, surgery information, and recovery processes. Treatment is never too late. Schedule an appointment at your closest American Spine center today.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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