What Is Vertebral Wedging?
You get vertebral wedging when the front of a vertebra collapses. People with osteoporosis typically have this fracture. From 1 to 1.5 million spinal compression fractures occur annually in the U.S. Nearly half of these occur in adults over 80. A collapsed vertebra causes a compression fracture. Three compression fracture types exist:
- Wedge fractures: When one vertebra collapses, wedge fractures form. Fractures frequently occur in the front vertebra.
- Crush fracture: The whole vertebra collapses.
- Burst fracture: The vertebra breaks in several directions. They’re the worst compression fractures.
A wedge fracture is the most frequent spinal fracture type. Spinal stabilization surgery may be needed, although conservative treatment is usually enough.
Fractures generally occur in the front vertebrae. Osteoporosis causes compression fractures in elderly persons. Women get osteoporosis four times more often than males, and compression fractures happen most often in the center of the back.
What Symptoms And Effects On Your Body Will You Experience?
Compression fractures may produce acute back discomfort. Pain may start abruptly and become persistent, worsen when walking or standing, or worsen while lying on your back. Your spine may develop kyphosis, causing hunching, height loss, and impairment.
Developing osteoporotic vertebral fractures increases fracture risk. A prior compression fracture increases the risk of subsequent fractures by four times. People with osteoporotic vertebral fractures have a threefold increased risk of pulmonary problems.
What Causes Vertebral Wedging?
Compression fractures frequently result from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes bone mineral density to decrease. It seldom causes symptoms until a bone breaks.
Many years may pass without osteoporosis-producing problems. Sneezing or getting out of the shower might cause a fracture if your bone strength is impaired.
About half of the compression fractures in younger individuals result from motor vehicle accidents, and 25 percent from falls.
How Is Vertebral Wedging Diagnosed?
Your medical history and physical exam may help your doctor diagnose you. Imaging testing may confirm vertebral injury. Tests may include:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- DEXA scans to measure your bone density
Is This Related To Conditions Like Osteoporosis?
Compression fractures are a common sign of osteoporosis. Most fractures related to osteoporosis occur in the hip and spine. The following may raise your risk of osteoporosis: