Spinal fractures

UCSF Radiologist Dr. Hess describes pain from spinal fractures and UCSF Radiology do to treat them.

Pain from Spinal Fractures

  • Fracture instability
  • Inflammatory response
  • Nerve Impingement

Altered spinal biomechanics

  • Muscle Spasm
  • Secondary disc degeneration/arthritis
  • Predisposition to additional fractures

Risk Factors for Osteoporotic VCF

  • Postmenopausal women > age 55
  • Prominent thoracic kyphosis
  • Loss of 2 or more inches in height
  • Glucocorticoid therapy (≥7.5 mg prednisolone)
  • Diagnosis of osteoporosis
  • Low BMD

Management of VCFs

  • Oral or parenteral pain control
  • Monitored bed rest
  • Brace or hyperextension cast
  • Identification and treatment of underlying bone metabolic disease and/or tumor 
  • Percutaneous cement injection


Alexander R. Margulis Distinguished Professor and Chair
Professor and Chair

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