Vertebral compression fractures usually occur at the anterior of the vertebral body. Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures can cause the spine to curve and lose height, and can result in pain, difficulties in breathing, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbances and difficulties in performing activities of daily living.
Symptoms and treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures can worsen quality of life and cause loss of self-esteem.
Figure 1: Consequences of Vertebral fractures
Once the first fracture occurs and if it goes untreated, patients enter into what is called the “Downward Spiral.” The Spinal deformity will shift the centre of gravity frontwards, which may impact lung capacity, intestinal function, and appetite. The patient overall ability for daily activities may decrease, increasing the underlying bone loss as well as the risk for further fracture and mortality.
In addition, most of the patients suffer from a psychological impact. The loss of mobility, pain, and noticeable spinal deformity frequently leads to depression, loss of self-esteem, fear of falling, and social isolation.
Figure 2: Downward spiral
Did you know that osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures are a strong risk factor for further vertebral and non-vertebral fractures?
Figure 3: Prevalent vertebral fractures increase the probability of further fracture
Did you knew that mortality due to an osteoporotic Vertebral compression in the first year is as severe as a the mortality due to hip fracture?
Figure 4: Age-adjusted relative risk of mortality following vertebral and hip clinical fracture is 8.68 and 6.64 respectively