Font Size

Vertebral Compression Fracture (cont.)

Vertebral Compression Fracture Symptoms

  • Pain: It tends to be in the lower back but may occur in the middle or upper back or neck. Some people may also have hip, abdominal, or thigh pain.
  • Numbness, tingling, and weakness: Such symptoms could mean compression of the nerves at the fracture site.
  • Losing control (incontinence) of urine or stool or inability to urinate (urinary retention): If these symptoms are present, the fracture may be pushing on the spinal cord itself.

When to Seek Medical Care for Vertebral Compression Fracture

A doctor should evaluate back pain in these situations:

  • In any elderly person (age greater than 65)
  • In a person with cancer
  • In anyone whose pain is exactly the same at rest as it is during activity
  • In a person with unintentional weight loss
  • Pain while sleeping is worse than when awake
  • In a child under 12 years of age

Seek medical help at a hospital's emergency department if you have the following symptoms with back pain:

  • Loss of control of urine or defecation
  • Severe pain, numbness, or weakness
  • High fever (temperature greater than 100.4 F or 38.0 C)
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Vertebral Compression Fracture

Bone Mineral Density Tests
Bone Mineral Density Tests Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease ...learn more >>
CT Scan (CAT Scan, Computerized Axial Tomography)
CT Scan What is a CT scan? Computerized tomography scans (CT scans) are important diagnostic tools for a variety of medical conditions. Some areas of the body frequentl...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Vertebral Compression Fracture:

Vertebral Compression Fracture - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your vertebral compression fracture?

Vertebral Compression Fracture - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your vertebral compression fracture?

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.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary