Compression fractures occur most often in the thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine and can be caused by a traumatic injury or as a result of osteoporosis. In an osteoporotic compression fracture, the weakened vertebra collapses into a wedge shape. These fractures may or may not cause pain or discomfort. If pain does occur, it tends to be sudden and can be severe. For most people over the age of 50, a compression fracture is considered for any sudden onset of back pain.
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