Vertebral Compression Fracture

A vertebral compression fracture refers to the collapse of a vertebral body (the building block of the spinal column). Compression fractures are a leading cause of pain and disability in the United States, especially in patients over 65 years old. Most commonly, these fractures occur due to osteoporosis (soft bone) or trauma (fall, lifting/twisting injury, or sometimes a bad coughing fit). Occasionally, these fractures can occur without any trauma or injury in the presence of cancer or infection.