A spinal fracture occurs when one of the vertebral bones breaks or collapses. Accidents are the most common cause, but vertebral fractures can also be caused by diseases such as osteoporosis and spine tumors.
Symptoms include back pain that is made worse by movement, and if the spinal cord is damaged, numbness, tingling, weakness, or bowel and/or bladder dysfunction may occur.
Treatment starts with immobilization to prevent further injury, and pain medication to make the patient more comfortable. Depending on the type, location, severity, and pattern of the fracture, surgery may be necessary.