Causes of Spinal Fracture
If you have certain conditions, like osteoporosis or cancer, it’s important to understand how they may increase your risk for spinal fracture.
A spinal fracture (also called a "vertebral compression fracture") occurs when one of the bones of the spinal column fractures or collapses. A healthy spine can handle normal activity, but when the vertebrae are already weakened, or the force on the spine is too great, a spinal fracture can occur. Once you’ve had a spinal fracture, your chances of experiencing another one within a year are significantly increased.1
Can Normal Activities Cause Spinal Fracture?
Spinal fracture can occur during just about any activity, even normal everyday activities like bending over to pick something up or carrying a bag of groceries. Sometimes the bone collapses slowly over time instead of all at once. When bone loss is advanced, a spinal fracture can occur from sneezing or changing position in bed. Patients may also feel sudden and severe back pain without engaging in any activity at all.
Osteoporosis and Spinal Fracture
Osteoporosis is a primary cause of spinal fractures in older adults, especially women.» Learn how osteoporosis can increase risk for spinal fracture
Cancer and Spinal Fracture
Certain cancers are more likely to spread to the vertebrae and weaken them.» Learn how cancer can increase risk for spinal fracture
Spinal Degeneration Due to Aging
As we age, bone gradually loses density and becomes more susceptible to spinal fracture.» Learn how aging can increase risk for spinal fracture
- Lindsay R, Silverman SL*, Cooper C, et al. Risk of new vertebral fracture in the year following a fracture. JAMA. 2001;285:320-323.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2010
- Kyphon data on file
Disclosure: an asterisk (*) denotes that some/all of the authors are paid Medtronic consultants. A cross (†) indicates that research cited may have been funded partially, or in whole, by Medtronic.