Compression Fractures

Integrated Spine and Pain Services

Interventional Pain Management Specialist located in Northern Virginia, Falls Church, VA & Alexandria, VA

A broken vertebrae, also called a compression fracture, can destroy your posture, make you shorter in height, and cause widespread pain. At Integrated Spine and Pain Services in Alexandria, Falls Church, Virginia, Diana Lam, PA-C, and Addison Lindberg, MS, PA-C, can evaluate your fracture with an X-ray and find a treatment to ease your pain. For more information about compression fractures or to find out if you’re at risk, call Integrated Spine and Pain Services or request an appointment online today.

Compression Fractures Q & A

What are compression fractures?

Compression fractures are breaks in your vertebrae that happen due to trauma or weakness in the bones from osteoarthritis. Your vertebrae are the bones in your back that make up your spine and protect your spinal cord. They hold your body upright and allow you to bend and twist. 

When a vertebrae collapses due to a compression fracture, your spine can shorten in height. Fragments of bone can press on the nerves in your spine and your spinal cord, causing widespread pain, numbness, or weakness that isn’t limited to your back. 

What are the symptoms of a compression fracture?

A compression fracture can happen slowly and start with no symptoms at all. If you don’t have any symptoms, the team at Integrated Spine and Pain Services can detect the fracture with an X-ray of your spine. If you suffer a compression fracture and have symptoms, they might include:

  • A reduction in your height
  • Back pain that gets worse over time
  • Worsening pain when you lie down or stand up
  • Limited back mobility
  • Worsening posture
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Compression fractures that happen suddenly usually cause extreme pain right away. If you notice any of these symptoms suddenly or they develop over time, you should seek medical attention right away.

What causes compression fractures?

Compression fractures tend to happen to people who have diseases that weaken their bones, like osteoporosis or bone cancer. You’re at a much higher risk of getting one if you have a condition that makes your bones break easily. If you have one of these conditions and haven’t yet had a compression fracture, the team at Integrated Spine and Pain Services can give you prevention tips. 

Compression fractures can also happen because of an acute injury to your spine. For example, if you play a contact sport like football or if you’re in a car accident, you can get a compression fracture in your spine after an impact. 

How are compression fractures treated?

The team at Integrated Spine and Pain Services offers several treatment options for compression fractures that can ease your pain, restore your mobility, and even restore your height. Before resorting to invasive treatments, the team might recommend conservative measures like physical therapy, pain medication, or a back brace. Invasive treatment options include:


During vertebroplasty, the team adds structure to your fractured vertebrae with an artificial bone-like cement. 


Kyphoplasty, also called balloon vertebroplasty, is a similar procedure to a traditional vertebroplasty with one key difference. Before adding the cement, the team uses a balloon to expand the bone and make room for it. 

To find out if a compression fracture is causing your back pain, call Integrated Spine and Pain Services or request an appointment online today.