Current medical, rehabilitation, and surgical management of vertebral compression fractures

J Womens Health (Larchmt). Jan-Feb 2003;12(1):17-26. doi: 10.1089/154099903321154103.


Approximately 25% of women over the age of 50 in the United States will suffer one or more vertebral compression fractures (VCFs) related to osteoporosis. VCFs are the most common of all osteoporotic fractures, with an incidence of approximately 700,000 annually. Such a fracture may cause significant pain, disability, and loss of general health and mobility and may lead to a progressive decline in quality of life. This is a review of the clinical literature on VCFs, including patient presentation, methods of diagnosis, and current rehabilitation and medical management. Much of the pain and disability that follow a VCF may be minimized by addressing the psychological impact of such a fracture, using current medications to help limit bone loss and preserve bone mass, adhering to a well-planned rehabilitation program, and consideration of vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty in appropriate patients. A multifaceted approach will help to optimize recovery from a VCF related to osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Female
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / complications
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Fractures / complications
  • Spinal Fractures / epidemiology
  • Spinal Fractures / therapy*