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Diagnosis / Vertebral Compression Fracture

Vertebral Compression Fractures

An estimated 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and an additional 34 million are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at an increased risk for developing this condition.

Vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) are the most common fracture in patients with osteoporosis affecting about 750,000 people annually. VCFs affect nearly a quarter of all postmenopausal women the United States. The prevalence is steadily increases as people age, with an estimated 40% of women age 80 and older affected.

Once a patient has sustained one osteoporotic compression fracture they are at a 5x greater risk of a second.


Vertebral compression fractures occur when the bony block or vertebral body collapses, which can lead to severe pain, deformity, and height loss. In people with osteoporosis, a VCF may be caused by daily activities, such as stepping out of the shower, sneezing vigorously or lifting a heavy object.

Fractures can also occur due to trauma or metastatic tumors in the spine. Metastatic tumors should be considered in patients younger than 55 years of age with no history of trauma. The bones in your spine are a common place for many types of cancers to spread. The cancer can cause destruction to part of the vertebra, weakening the bone until it collapses.


You may be suffering from a vertebral compression fracture if you experience any of the following:

  • Sudden onset of back pain
  • Increase of pain while standing or walking
  • Decrease in pain while lying on your back
  • Limited mobility
  • Height loss
  • Deformity and disability
  • Diagnosis

In addition to a physical exam, your physician will order imaging studies such as an MRI or a bone scan to confirm your diagnosis and determine the best treatment option.

IVC’s Treatments for Spine Tumors

At IVC, we offer a minimally invasive treatment for painful vertebral compression fractures. Balloon kyphoplasty has proven highly effective in alleviating the debilitating pain experienced by patients diagnosed with a VCF.

Call IVC today at 503-612-0498 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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