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Osteoporotic Fracture:Fragile Spine Fracture|Sign & Treatment

Osteoporosis fracture occurs when the spinal cord is weakened due to its fragile condition resulting in the compression of the bones or cracking of it. This occurs when the bones break in conditions that would otherwise not result in such fractures. It is often caused due to the weakening of the bones, due to several reasons such as medical history, genetics, lifestyle, and even other illness that causes the bones to weaken.

It can result in serious injury to the bone and restrict mobility, cause back pain and impact day to day activities of the individual.

It is a common fracture that occurs in the spinal cords. Here is a quick guide to the causes, symptoms, and various forms of care for the injury.


Osteoporotic Fracture Causes

Osteoporotic fracture is mostly caused by the weakening of the spinal bones. This can be a result of various factors such as age, occupation, and medical conditions. Bones undergo a series of changes as one ages, new bone material is created and old is replaced. When this slows down and the body is no longer able to heal quicker than the way it's wearing, one may develop fragile bones that result in this condition.

Other factors can include genetics, where people with a history of osteoporosis may have conditions that may pass on to their children. Engaging in strenuous work that puts pressure on the back and the bones can also wear the bones quicker and result in fractures. Besides these, any sudden trauma or impact on the region can result in the bones breaking.

Engaging in activities such as pottery, cooking, packaging, and over-the-counter jobs that reduce movement and flexibility in the body can also contribute to the degeneration of the bones. Lack of physical activities or extreme physical activities can cause fractures.

Medical conditions such as thyroid conditions, and low sec hormones all cause the bone to weaken and can contribute to fracture. Low calcium intake, eating disorders, and lack of nutrition also contribute to the weakening of the bones.

Osteoporotic Fracture Symptoms

In the early stages of bone loss, there are no visible symptoms. However, when the bones begin to chaff and can no longer put up with the body's requirements, some symptoms begin to show which can be a good sign to get checked by a medical professional.

One of the earliest signs to look out for is persistent back pain, across the back such as in the upper and lower back. This may last a few weeks without any injury causing it. Another symptom is arching back where one tends to slouch. This can be a sign of weakening bones.

In some cases, there might be a loss of height, as the bone begins to lose strength. This can result in discomfort, and aches in the back and can cause imbalance while walking.

Other symptoms include pain while lifting objects, and a sudden jerk in the muscles when trying to sit up straight or engage the back. 

Osteoporotic Fracture Diagnosis

An Orthopedic professional can help you diagnose the condition and chart a treatment plan for the same. A simple physical examination such as making you stand straight, and asking you to stretch your back can help understand the possible condition. This can be followed by X-ray scans, as they provide a detailed view of the condition of the bones and identify the region of weakness.

A bone density test may be conducted to understand the health of the bones can have a direct impact on the medical condition and allow doctors to gauge the intensity of the injury and condition.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI can also be performed to understand conditions of soft tissue and muscles in the region that may add to the deterioration of the condition.

In some cases, a CT or a Computerised Tomography can be performed to understand the overall condition of the bones in the person, along with muscle conditions.

Osteoporotic Fracture Treatment

In medical interventions for the fracture, medication such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs will be provided for the injury to reduce pain. Medication to strengthen the bone can also be prescribed depending on the intensity of the injury and the care needed. The goal is to strengthen the bones and the spine and ensure that they are no longer fragile.

In some cases, surgery may be suggested to strengthen the bone such as vertebroplasty, which is usually not recommended unless very necessary. Dietary changes and lifestyle management are also key factors in the treatment of these fractures.

Back braces can also be used to straighten the spine and increase strength and resilience in the individual.

Physiotherapy for Osteoporotic Fracture

Strengthening exercise, stabilization exercise, balance training, stretching, and relaxation techniques can help reduce the pain and increase strength in the bones

Strengthening and flexibility exercises improve overall physical function and are important to reduce the risk of falling

Spinal extensor strengthening programs increase bone density and reduce the risk. Exercises such as walking help to maintain or improve bone density.

Weight-bearing aerobic activities involve doing aerobic exercise on your feet, including walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing, and gardening. These types of exercises work directly on the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine to slow mineral loss.

Avoid stretches that flex your spine or cause you to bend at the waist or any forms of high-impact exercises as they may cause more injury.

Cautionary Advice

  • Osteoporotic vertebral fracture and osteoporotic compression fracture occur when the bones of the spine are weak and may shatter due to impact.
  • It is important to ensure that the bones do not degenerate quickly.
  • Lifestyle change and nutrition can help reduce the pace at which the bones wear.
  • Medication and physiotherapy can help reduce the risk of fractures.
  • X-rays and MRI scans help understand the intensity of the injury.
  • Symptoms can include back pain, arched back, difficulty in breathing, and pain during walking or lifting objects.
  • Bone strengthening medication can be prescribed as a treatment plan.

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