Non-operative Care for Spine Fracture

Non-operative care for spine fracture aims to reduce the overall pain of a spine fracture. Typically, a spinal compression fracture treatment requires that a patient take an over-the-counter analgesic pain relief medicine or in some instances, physician-prescribed medication, get adequate bed rest, wear a back brace or spine support, and participate in some type of physical therapy program.

Pain medications
As part of a spinal compression fracture treatment, over-the-counter pain medications are often sufficient in relieving pain.

An accurately prescribed regimen of pain medications can relieve bone-on-bone, muscle, and nerve pain, often with a reduced dose of each drug that is part of the spinal compression fracture treatment regimen.

Activity modification
Bed rest is a passive form of non-operative care for spine fractures. This type of spinal compression fracture treatment may help with acute pain, but it can also lead to further bone loss and worsening osteoporosis, which raises the risk for future compression fractures. It may also lead to muscle wasting. Advising bed rest to a patient may prove advantageous, but typically for no more than a few days.

Back bracing
A back brace is a type of non-operative care for spine fractures that provides external support to limit the motion of fractured vertebrae, much like applying a cast on a broken wrist. The rigid style of a back brace limits spine-related motion significantly, which may help reduce pain.

Osteoporosis treatment
Bone-strengthening drugs such as bisphosphonates–Actonel, Boniva, and Fosamax–help stabilize or restore bone loss and can be an important role in helping prevent additional compression fractures.