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Spinal Fracture Awareness Checklist

Spinal Fracture Awareness Checklist

Spinal Fracture Awareness Checklist

Spinal fractures, also known as vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), are the most common fracture caused by steoporosis and can lead to a hunched, deformed spine. As many as two-thirds of spinal fractures go undiagnosed and untreated because patients are not aware of the symptoms, such as new back pain. Therefore, it is important to be aware of your risk for a spinal fracture and to see your doctor right away if you think you may have one.

Spinal fractures - risks and symptoms:

  • 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
  • Unlike the pain from a broken arm or hip, the pain from a spinal fracture can be mild, making it difficult to know you have a broken bone in the spine
  • Left untreated, multiple fractures can cause a hunched back (kyphosis) and affect your overall health
  • 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)

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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