Compression Fracture: How it happens- what is it?

Bob Shrum physical therapist and I'm

granting physical therapist and together

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well I'll end the talk but oh yeah we're

going to talk about this subject that

what I'm going to talk about my my socks

no no this one's Nancy look at this fan

Taylor try me now if you're into mauled

by grace and you know this fan tighter

race is one of the largest multi traces

in the United States in Wisconsin that's


sorry 100 bikes Bob all right let's talk

about compression compression reactions

now all right all right this is kind of

serious business in the net which

reminds me this is something that

generally happens in the elderly are as

you get older 50 60 70 and if you're out

that age you're going to want to

subscribe to our YouTube site physical

therapy video physicals every video

because that's the topic that we tend to

discuss is health and fitness for the

person who's 50 and over right matter of

fact just today someone you're 40 you

can do it okay I'm sorry this morning on

TV I was actually I was exercising had a

TV on the wall now and they had a whole

section on diagnosing people and

scanning people for bone density all

tired and I just thought about that just

for a nap fits right with this because

the person who has less dense bones so

let's say as an Osdol osteopenia or

osteoporosis you're going to be a much

more risk for this in fact quite often

I've seen people who have not really

done anything seriously wrong and no

Falls or anything like that but they

still ended up getting a compression

fracture we're going to show you how

this happens sure so why don't we start

off with the spine all right Wow what's

wrong we got a couple students here

today from university lacrosse Wisconsin

physical therapy department doctorate

program yeah Sam and Brittany come on in

so just say hi hi we might use you later

we might use it to show you okay this is

the spine and first off let's let's just

show you what a compression fracture

looks like on this diagram here can you

zoom in on that Nancy all right these

are obviously two normal vertebrae and

you can see the normal height on them

even height all the way along here this

is a compression and compression

fracture is just what I could solve it

got compressed down so the front end is

actually smaller than the back end here

and you can see that as you can see that

line right there that represents the

fracture right here so we're going to

demonstrate how this happens and

generally the mechanism of how it

happens you want to zoom back out babkin

as far as this this picture here where

is that on the spine itself on the model

here it would be what this looks like

Loic oh that looks like it is a lumbar

vertebra so would be lower down and

lower down here to be honest I think

they more often happen in the thoracic

right right in the mid part of the back

in the mid back right and I'll show you

why just a second here this again you

know we have a normal spine here this is

where your head would be this is your

pelvis these are the legs now what puts

pressure on the mid-back here is this

position right here this rounded out


slumped position and in fact I read in

the literature a friend of mine who is

actually quite well-versed in this area

they call this a hinging effect it's

like there's a hinge right here and

there's pressure from here there's

pressure because this is fixed down here

and so that the pressure tends to happen

right in that mid thoracic mid-back area

so this is the air this just by putting

your back in this position can put you

at risk for compression fracture when

you have osteoporosis or osteopenia

which tends to happen after menopause in

women females have a higher risk of it

females have a higher where you see many

more females with this so this is that

posture in this scene

for this grounded posture and if you pay

attention you'll see that they call it

kite forces thoracic kyphosis and that's

where you see a little old ladies and

old men that are you know humped over

like this and once they have a

compression factor with even more humped

over and if you the thing is if you have

your back in that position like this and

then you pick something up now you've

added increased stress on that back and

that's where just I've had people just

from doing that

they picked up something and and and

very light even very light objects and

that was enough to put them over the

edge and let me tell you this is not a

fun thing this are very painful

situation and what the only way really

to treat it although they do have some

surgical procedures now where they do

retrieval classiness there but usually

they try non surgically first to treat

it and basically it's let it allow you

to heal and staying out of this position


they have braces made to put out of the

turtle breaks they call or turtles are

here to keep you up it's just another

confirmation of how important posture is

good posture throughout your life

keeping things aligned we're going to

show you and give you a demonstration

here of how this compression fracture

actually works good throw a nice throw

Sam all right did you play ball play

ball all right so here we got a couple

vertebrae all right here's one here's

another and this is going to represent

the vertebra this is just a piece of

foam I want to do with a marshmallow I

thought a marshmallow be really cool you

know that's why I tell people it's like

squeezing down a marshmallow so I never

do that one okay good idea though

marshmallow so anyway again you got the

lure and that's kind of fixated because

you know you got your legs and the upper

hand is bending forward like this so

it's just very simple you've bent

forward like this and what happens the

pressure squeezes down and if you have a

normal healthy verb rate that's not

going to happen it will maintain its

height but if you have one that is maybe

a little bit less dense and has loss of

bone mass the integrity is broke down as


you can just crush right down like this

so this would be if you were looking at

on the spine you may be looking at this

burro bruh this one this one in the

middle one here as a result of bending

for the you know for pasture for

biomechanics increases that compression

stress on there causing the fracture and

you can't get away from this I mean you

can't I mean as you get older your I

mean there's no way you get away with

this position like this it's just you're

always going to be at risk if you if you

put your back in that position you're

really going to want to work on keeping

your posture and you've been working it

the other way a little bit so what can

we do to prevent this Bob stay on this

position Brad but I mean how they the

biggest fires died and really talked

about you don't talk to your doctor

about that therapist I don't get into

the diet McDonald on my area thank you

you're they are doctor or dietitian

there are ways that you die can also

supplement the integrity of the bones so

its posture take you to bones exercise

too as far as weight lifting keeps that

something you got to talk to someone

that knows how to lift and just don't go

grab some weights that are lifting to

try and help your bone density sounds