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Vertebral Compression Fracture (cont.)

Vertebral Compression Fracture Causes

Vertebral compression fractures can be caused by osteoporosis, trauma, and diseases affecting bone (pathologic fracture).

  • Osteoporosis
    • Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which bone density is reduced, which may increase the chance that a person could sustain a vertebral compression fracture with little or no trauma.
    • Osteoporosis most commonly occurs in women who have completed menopause, but it can also occur in elderly men and in people who have had long-term use of a steroid medication such as prednisone.
  • Trauma: Injury severe enough to cause a vertebra to break can occur with a fall from a tall height in which the person lands on his or her feet or buttocks. It can also occur in a person involved in a car accident.
  • Pathologic fracture
    • Pathologic fracture is a fracture occurring in the vertebra due to preexisting disease at the fracture site.
    • Most commonly, this type of break is from cancer in the bone, which has often traveled from other sites in the body, such as from the prostate, breast, or lungs.
    • Pathologic fracture can also occur with other diseases, such as Paget's disease of bone and infection of bone (osteomyelitis).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2013
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