Compression Trauma is the type of fracture in the spine that is typically caused by osteoporosis is generally referred to as a compression fracture. A compression fracture is usually defined as a vertebral bone in the spine that has decreased at least 15 to 20% in height due to fracture.
A Burst Fracture is a spinal injury where the vertebra breaks due to immediate and severe compression. Immediate trauma such as a car accident or a severe fall are the leading causes for burst fractures with pieces of the vertebra shattering into surrounding tissues and sometimes the spinal canal.
Vertebral augmentation is a category of surgical procedures that are used to stabilize a fractured vertebra with the goal of reducing the patient’s pain. These procedures are termed vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, or radiofrequency vertebral augmentation.
The goals of the vertebroplasty surgical procedure are to stabilize the spinal fracture and to stop the pain caused by the fracture. Vertebroplasty is considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure because the procedure is done through a small puncture in the patient’s skin (as opposed to an open incision). A typical vertebroplasty procedure, described below, usually takes about 1 hour to complete.