How Is a Lumbar Compression Fracture Usually Treated?

Treatment for a lumbar compression fracture includes pain medications, activity modification and back bracing, according to WebMD. Surgery is also a treatment method for a lumbar compression fracture and includes vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty and spinal fusion.

Doctors often treat lumbar compression fractures with medications such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, states WebMD. If these over-the-counter medications do not work, a doctor may suggest a prescription narcotic for a short time. Bed rest may also help to treat a lumbar compression fracture. Bracing is also a suggestion for treating a lumbar compression fracture, as it immobilizes the spine, which helps to reduce pain.

When other treatments for a lumbar compression fracture do not work, surgery is a treatment option, explains WebMD. Vertebroplasty helps to reduce pain by stabilizing the broken bones by injecting bone cement into the broken area. Kyphoplasty is similar to the vertebroplasty, but in this case, the doctor inserts a small balloon into the broken area to make space, and then injects the bone cement. In both cases, the cement hardens in about 10 minutes, and the patient may go home the same day.

Spinal fusion is the treatment for a lumbar compression fracture that occurs when other treatments do not work, claims WebMD. In this case, the doctor fuses the bones of the spine together with screws, plates or rods. There are several days of recovery following this procedure and a patient must wear a brace and participate in physical therapy during the healing process.