Spinal Fractures

Osteoporosis causes more than 700,000 spinal fractures each year in the U.S. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, this is more than twice the annual number of hip fractures.

Spinal fractures can also be caused by cancer, the most common being multiple myeloma, breast, lung and prostate. According to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the majority of patients with multiple myeloma – some 70 to 95% -- have progressive metastatic bone disease particularly in the spine, which increases the risk of fractures.

Some spinal fractures may collapse immediately while others collapse over time. Left untreated, one fracture can lead to subsequent fractures; often resulting in a condition called kyphosis, or rounded back. Kyphosis, signified by the dowager’s hump, compresses the chest and abdominal cavity, resulting in serious negative health consequences.

Risks and Symptoms


  • Age 50 or postmenopausal women
  • Osteoporosis or low bone mineral density
  • Family history of osteoporosis, fractures, or a hunched back
  • Height loss or a hunched back
  • Prior spinal fracture or other bone fractures after the age of 50
  • Sudden onset of back pain lasting more than a few days (even if pain is only mild)


  • Osteoporosis is responsible for over 700,000 spinal fractures each year in the U.S.
  • One in four women over age 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related spinal fracture
  • Left untreated, multiple fractures can cause a hunched back (kyphosis) and affect your overall health

Balloon Kyphoplasty

Balloon Kyphoplasty is a minimally invasive, orthopedic treatment that stabilizes spinal fractures, thereby reducing pain and correcting vertebral deformity. This procedure is not for everyone. A prescription is required. Please consult your physician for a full discussion of risks and whether this procedure is right for you.

What to Do if You Think You Have a Spinal Fracture

  • See your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Ask your doctor if you should have a spine X-ray or MRI.
  • If necessary, get a referral to a spine specialist.


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