Vertebral Compression Fracture in Hollywood & Miami FL

Vertebral Compression Fracture

Serving the South Florida area with locations in Hollywood and Miami, FL

Dr. Andreas C. Tomac, MD, PhD, FAANS is a distinguished neurosurgeon specializing in diagnosing and treating Vertebral Compression Fracture.

What is Vertebral Compression Fracture?

A vertebral compression fracture is a type of fracture that occurs in one of the vertebrae of the spine, resulting in a collapse or compression of the vertebral body. These fractures are often associated with conditions such as osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures. Trauma, tumors, or other underlying medical conditions can also contribute to vertebral compression fractures. 

Who can it affect?

Vertebral compression fractures can affect individuals across a broad demographic spectrum, but they are particularly prevalent in older adults, especially postmenopausal women. The risk of these fractures increases with age and is often associated with conditions such as osteoporosis, where bone density decreases, making the vertebrae more susceptible to fractures. Individuals with weakened bones due to other medical conditions or prolonged use of certain medications may also be at an increased risk. Trauma or injuries can lead to vertebral compression fractures in younger individuals. While older adults are more commonly affected, it’s important to recognize that these fractures can occur in various age groups, and anyone experiencing sudden onset back pain or related symptoms should seek medical evaluation. Orthopedic specialists, spinal surgeons, or interventional radiologists typically play a crucial role in diagnosing and managing vertebral compression fractures based on the individual’s specific circumstances and overall health.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of vertebral compression fractures can vary, but common indicators may include:

  • Sudden Onset of Back Pain: A sharp or dull pain in the back, often occurring suddenly or after a minor trauma.
  • Limited Spinal Mobility: Difficulty bending or twisting the spine due to pain and stiffness.
  • Height Loss: In some cases, vertebral compression fractures can lead to a reduction in height over time.
  • Deformity: Visible changes in the shape or alignment of the spine, particularly if multiple fractures occur.
  • Radiating Pain: Pain that may radiate to the abdomen or hips, depending on the location of the fracture.
  • Neurological Symptoms: Compression of nerves may lead to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities.

It’s essential to note that not all vertebral compression fractures cause noticeable symptoms, and some individuals may only become aware of the fracture through imaging studies. Prompt medical evaluation is crucial, especially for those experiencing persistent back pain or related symptoms, to determine the presence of a vertebral compression fracture and initiate appropriate management.

Treating Vertebral Compression Fracture

Vertebral Compression Fracture in Hollywood & Miami FL

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosing vertebral compression fractures involves a comprehensive evaluation, and a neurosurgeon like Dr. Tomac can be instrumental in this diagnostic process. Dr. Tomac typically begins by gathering a detailed medical history, including information about the onset and characteristics of symptoms, any recent trauma, and the patient’s overall health. A thorough physical examination assesses spinal mobility, neurological function, and signs of deformity. Imaging studies, such as X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or Computed Tomography (CT) scans, are essential to visualize the spine and confirm the presence and severity of vertebral compression fractures. Dr. Tomac’s expertise in neurosurgery allows for a precise analysis of imaging results, aiding in the accurate diagnosis of these fractures. The collaborative approach between the patient and Dr. Tomac is crucial in determining the most appropriate course of action for managing vertebral compression fractures, which may involve pain management, bracing, or surgical intervention to stabilize the affected vertebrae. 


Vertebral Compression Fracture in Hollywood & Miami FL

What treatments are available?

The treatment of vertebral compression fractures can involve a range of approaches, and a neurosurgeon like Dr. Tomac can provide expertise in both non-surgical and surgical interventions. Treatment options include:

Conservative Measures:

    • Pain Management: Medications such as analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain.
    • Bracing: Supportive braces to help stabilize the spine and alleviate discomfort.
    • Rest and Activity Modification: Temporary reduction of strenuous activities to promote healing.

Minimally Invasive Procedures:

    • Vertebroplasty: Injection of bone cement into the fractured vertebra to stabilize and reduce pain.
    • Kyphoplasty: Similar to vertebroplasty, but involves creating a cavity in the fractured vertebra before cement injection.

Surgical Interventions:

    • Balloon Kyphoplasty: A minimally invasive procedure that uses a balloon to create space in the fractured vertebra before injecting bone cement.
    • Vertebroplasty: Surgical stabilization of the fractured vertebra using instrumentation such as screws or rods.

Dr. Tomac can assess the specific case, discuss treatment options, and recommend the most appropriate course of action based on the severity of the vertebral compression fractures and the individual’s overall health. The decision on the most suitable treatment plan is made collaboratively between the patient and Dr. Tomac, considering the unique circumstances and goals of the individual.