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Vertebral Compression Fracture (cont.)

Outlook

The back fracture should heal in most cases without problems. However, severe fractures may need surgery to keep the spine in alignment. Also, a pathological back fracture may not heal because cancer may be present.

A person who has a fracture caused by osteoporosis can decrease the chance of further fractures with adequate dietary supplementation (calcium), exercise, and hormone replacement, if indicated.

Fractures causing chronic, severe pain benefit from a multidisciplinary approach that may include the primary medical doctor, an orthopedic or neurosurgeon, physical therapy, and pain clinic referral.

REFERENCES:

Canale, S. Terry, and James H. Beaty. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby, 2008.

Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

Wardlaw, Douglas, et al. "Balloon kyphoplasty in patients with osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures." Expert Review of Medical Devices 9.4 (2012): 423-436.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2013
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Lumbar Compression Fracture »

The lumbar vertebrae are the 5 largest and strongest of all vertebrae in the spine.

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