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About Vertebral Compression Fractures

Pain from a fractured vertebra, or a bone of the spine, can be very severe. Compression fractures generally occur due to osteoporosis, trauma, or cancer. There is sometimes a history of picking up a heavy object or sustaining a fall, followed by severe pain. Some forms of cancer, particularly of the breast, prostate, and lung, are more likely to spread to the spine and cause metastatic fractures. A form of blood cancer, myeloma, also weakens the vertebrae and is frequently associated with compression fractures.

Treating Vertebral Compression Fractures at UT Health Austin

Our team of experts will evaluate your medical history, review past and current imaging or order new imaging, and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine the cause of your pain. Sometimes this pain can be conservatively managed with medications and bracing, allowing time for the fracture to heal. In other cases, we may recommend a procedure in which bone cement is injected into the fracture, stabilizing the vertebra against further fracturing and also eliminating most or all of the pain. When a spinal tumor is involved, this is first ablated with radiofrequency energy before injecting bone cement.

Care Team Approach

We have assembled a team of experts that includes a Pain Medicine Physician, Interventional Pain Management Physician, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, Physical Therapist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Psychiatrist, and Pharmacist to treat your needs. Our team is here to listen and collaborate to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.