What is the difference in a compression fracture and a fracture?

Compression fractures are small breaks or cracks in the vertebrae (the bones that make up your spinal column). The breaks happen in the vertebral body, which is the thick, rounded part on the front of each vertebra. Fractures in the bone cause the spine to weaken and collapse.

What are the different types of spinal fractures?

There are many different types of spinal fractures: Compression, Burst, Flexion-distraction, and Fracture-dislocation. Each of these types of fractures are described. Other terms your doctor may use to describe a fracture include stable, unstable, minor, and/or major.

What is a compression fracture?

A compression fracture is a type of broken bone that can cause your vertebrae to collapse, making them shorter. This often happens to the front of the vertebrae but not the back, causing you to stoop forward over time.Compression fractures are caused by:

Are You at risk for compression fractures?

Compression fractures are very common and usually result from osteoporosis. Your risk of this type of fracture increases with age. To lower your risk of compression fractures, see your provider regularly, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of vitamin D and calcium.

How is a compression fracture diagnosed?

Compression Fracture Diagnosis Your doctor will begin to diagnose a possible compression fracture with a physical exam and will check whether your upper spine is hunched forward. You may also receive one or more scans: Bone Density Test (if osteoporosis is suspected)

What is the most common cause of vertebral compression fractures?

Osteoporosis is by far the most common cause of vertebral compression fractures, especially in women over age 50. It is more common than most people think in people between the ages of 40 and 50, and it is reasonably common in men over age 50. Osteoporosis causes bones to thin and become brittle and weak.