A compression fracture in your spine can be painful if it happens in an accident. Seek a Manhattan pain specialist for treatment for compression fracture if you’re feeling back pain after an accident. If, however, you develop a compression fracture over the course of many years, you may also have osteoporosis. Your compression fracture treatment will have to treat the underlying cause as well. Come to our sports injury clinic in NYC to get your back pain evaluation and treatment. Meet our back pain doctor Febin Melepura M.D. He is one of the best back pain treatment specialists in NYC.
A compression fracture of your spine can be very painful or not painful at all. It occurs — either from a blunt-force injury or gradually over time — when one of the vertebra in your spine breaks from the pressure of the accident or from constant wear and tear. A vertebra is an individual bone in your spine. Each vertebra is separated from the one above it and below it by a disc. Discs act as shock-absorbers, usually keeping your vertebrae from injury.
If you suffer an injury that forces your spine together, either a disc ruptures (also called a herniation) or a vertebral bone cracks under the pressure. Both cause extreme back pain. When you suffer a fracture, you need medical attention in the form of compression fracture treatment to ease your pain and address the fracture.
The Anatomy of a Compression Fracture
- The vertebral arch, which protects your spinal cord
- The vertebral body, which provides the support in front-facing side of your spine
When you need treatment for a compression fracture, it’s because the vertebral body has broken, split or collapsed in some way. Most often, the vertebral body splits, creating a wedge shape, since the vertebral arch is still in one piece. It’s also possible that a bad enough accident can fracture multiple vertebrae.
What Causes a Compression Fracture
A fracture can occur over the course of many years. The bone eventually fractures because it’s already weak. As a result, these types of fractures occur most often in men and women older than 40. Osteoporosis, a disease that affects the bone density over time, is the most common culprit for weakened mid-back vertebrae.
When a compression fracture is the result of a sudden accident, the mid-back or lower back pain can be excruciating. This type of injury isn’t common, though, as healthy vertebrae are fairly tough, well-protected bones. Since a vertebrae fracture is a serious injury, you’ll know it when it happens.
Compression Fracture Symptoms Vary
The symptoms can be painful, although there’s the chance that if the condition came on over years, you may not notice anything. Otherwise, you may experience:
- Sharp pain in your back
- Radiating pain in your arms or legs
- Numbness in your arms or legs, whether or not you feel other pain
- A sense that you’re an inch or two shorter than before
When you experience any of these symptoms, get to your Manhattan spine specialist for compression fracture treatment. Surgery is rare, but the doctor can provide treatment for compression fracture that will ease your pain.
Making an Accurate Diagnosis
When you have back pain or radiating pain to your extremities, your doctor has to work through many possible causes to arrive at a correct diagnosis. Many ailments present with similar symptoms, but successful compression fracture treatment relies on an accurate diagnosis. So, your spine physician:
- Examines you thoroughly, testing where your pain originates
- Takes a complete medical history, including information about recent accidents
- Takes an x-ray that can show a bone spur or other nerve impingement
- Orders a CT scan, if necessary, to get a more detailed look at a particular area of your spine
- Recommends an MRI, sometimes to rule out other causes of your pain
- May perform a radioactive CT scan to look for the bone fracture
If there are associated conditions, such as osteoporosis, the best pain specialist in New York City looks for evidence. Treatment for compression fractures often includes treatment for associated conditions.
Compression Fracture Treatments
The good news is that it’s rare that your compression fracture treatment will involve surgery. The first step in your treatment is to deal with any pain you’re experiencing. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medication, but if you’ve tried that without success, you may get a prescription for:
- Stronger muscle relaxants
- Topical creams
- Prescription pain killers
- Antidepressants, which have proven to reduce chronic pain
- Anti-inflammatory epidural injections
The second step is to manage your new reality to keep the pain from returning. To accomplish this, you may need physical therapy, some lifestyle changes and at-home exercises and stretches. Over the course of three months, you need to rest more and curtail your activity levels. Your doctor may recommend wearing a brace to support your back during the healing process.
If osteoporosis is the reason for your fracture, your New York City pain specialist has to deal with that disease as well as the fracture. Treatment for compression fracture from osteoporosis involves strengthening your bones. Your doctor may recommend vitamins and supplements, such as Vitamin D or calcium.
Do you have any questions about the compression fracture treatment we offer in NYC? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the best rated back and spine pain doctor Febin Melepura MD of sports pain management clinic NYC? Please contact our office for consultation with the top pain relief specialist in Midtown Manhattan.