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Compression Fracture services offered in St George, UT

Compression fractures in the spine can lead to a reduction in your height or a permanent change in your posture in addition to the back pain they cause initially. At Alturas Pain and Spine Specialists in St. George, Utah, Stacie Oliver, MD, treats compression fractures starting with the least invasive options for treatment. Schedule your evaluation and treatment consultation for compression fractures over the phone or online at Alturas Pain and Spine Specialists today.

Compression Fracture Q&A

What is a compression fracture?

A compression fracture is a small break in one of your vertebrae (spinal bones). Unlike other spinal conditions, compression fractures are most common in the thoracic (middle) spine. They can come from sudden traumatic injuries, such as car accident injuries, or they can accumulate over time due to osteoporosis. This bone-weakening condition puts you at risk for fractures.

The symptoms of a compression fracture may be mild, severe, or in between. Signs and symptoms of one or multiple compression fractures include:

  • Back pain
  • Decreased spinal mobility
  • Increased spinal curvature (often leading to a dowager’s hump)
  • Pinched nerves
  • Reduced height

Symptoms like reduced height and increased spinal curvature appear over time, as many vertebral fractures affect your spine, which causes it to slowly collapse. In fact, most compression fractures are the result of osteoporosis. 

How are compression fractures diagnosed?

When you visit Alturas Pain and Spine Specialists with possible symptoms of a compression fracture, Dr. Oliver discusses them with you and gathers information on your medical history. She checks your spinal alignment and posture and gently presses on various areas of your back to find the source of the pain. 

After the initial examination, Dr. Oliver uses imaging tests to see the bones and soft tissue in and around your spinal column. She evaluates X-ray images or other bone scans in search of evidence of one or more compression fractures in the vertebrae. 

How are compression fractures treated?

Your treatment for compression fractures at Alturas Pain and Spine Specialists depends on the cause of the injury and the number of fractures you have. 

Dr. Oliver often recommends multiple treatments in a comprehensive plan. She always starts with conservative techniques while reserving interventions for fractures that don’t respond well to minimally invasive care. 

In addition to basic treatments like pain medications, a back brace, and lifestyle modifications, your treatment might also involve vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These are two minimally invasive procedures that can restore the height and structure of vertebrae damaged by compression fractures as well as alleviate pain. 

If you have osteoporosis, you might also benefit from medications that stabilize or strengthen your bones. 

To schedule an evaluation and treatment consultation for compression fractures, call Alturas Pain and Spine Specialists, or book an appointment online today.