Spine patient getting and X ray

A spine fracture is when a bone in your spine breaks, cracks or becomes compressed, typically as a result of an injury or trauma (car accident, fall, high impact sports, etc.) Osteoporosis can increase the risk of spine fracture.

Fractures can vary in severity. They are classified as either a compression fracture, a burst fracture or a stress fracture.

Spinal Fracture Symptoms

The most common symptom of a spinal fracture is back pain. You might also experience:

  • Decreased movement ability (difficulty twisting or bending)
  • Pinched nerves/nerve pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Curvature in the upper back

Diagnosis and Treatment

Spinal fractures are diagnosed through an in-office exam, an X-ray of the spine, an MRI or a CT scan. Regarding treatment, most fractures are stable and can be treated with a brace device or over-the-counter pain medications, as well as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription medications for slowing bone loss
  • A minimally invasive spine procedure (such as vertebroplasty)

Contact Us

To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, call the spine team at UM St. Joseph Medical Center at 410-337-4882. Meet our expert spine team.