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Back Fracture Specialist

Pinnacle Pain and Spine

Interventional Pain Medicine Physician & Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine Physician located in Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, & Chandler, AZ

Your neck seems like it should be the most vulnerable to fractures, but 64% of spinal fractures are in the lower back and about 25-30% affect the upper back. At Pinnacle Pain and Spine, Matthew Crooks, MD, Jessica Byrd, FNP-C, AP-PMN, and Emma Dambi, FNP-C, offer minimally invasive treatments for compression fractures, together with interventional treatments that minimize your back pain. If you need treatment for a back fracture, call one of the offices in Scottsdale, Chandler, or Fountain Hills, Arizona, or use the online booking feature today.

Back Fracture Q&A

What causes a back fracture?

Back fractures range from minor injuries to severe damage resulting from high-energy trauma. The most common causes of back fractures include falling from a significant height, a car crash, and blunt trauma during sports activities.

Compression fractures, which primarily affect your thoracic spine (or upper back) develop when the vertebrae are so weak they collapse in response to daily activities. For example, simply coughing or bending over to pick up a light object may trigger a compression fracture.

Osteoporosis is the top cause of compression fractures. Though not as common, the vertebrae can also weaken due to spinal tumors.

What symptoms develop if I have a back fracture?

Pain is the primary symptom of a back fracture. You may also experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in your arms or legs. Severe back fractures that damage the spinal cord lead to paralysis.

Compression fractures make the front side of the vertebra collapse. If you sustain several compression fractures in adjoining vertebrae, you develop kyphosis, a noticeable rounded area or hump in your upper back.

How are back fractures treated?

Surgery is often required for back fractures that cause spinal instability or injury to your spinal cord. Back fractures that are stable and less severe are initially treated with a back brace that supports your back while it heals.

You also need rehabilitation to reduce your pain and restore mobility. If your pain prevents you from participating in your rehabilitation, Dr. Crooks may recommend interventional medicine treatments.

Interventional treatments significantly diminish the pain, allowing you to actively engage in the physical therapy you need to regain optimum function. Examples of interventional options include steroid injections and nerve blocks.

How are compression fractures treated?

At Pinnacle Pain and Spine, Dr. Crooks treats compression fractures with one of two minimally invasive procedures.

Vertebroplasty

During this procedure, Dr. Crooks inserts a narrow needle into the damaged vertebra and injects bone cement. The cement hardens, which restores strength to the bone and stability to your spine.

Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty is like vertebroplasty with one additional step. Before injecting bone cement, Dr. Crooks inserts a balloon in the vertebra and inflates it to restore the bone’s normal height. After removing the balloon, he injects cement into the cavity created by the balloon.

You can get expert care for back fractures at Pinnacle Pain and Spine. Call or book an appointment online today.