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Posted in: Spinal fractures.

Osteopenia - Fracture without pain?

Started by Nancy Killgo Lu... on 02/26/2017 9:35am

About 4 months ago I lost my balance going up our porch steps and fell about 3 feet, landing flat on my back onto our dirt driveway. The fall knocked the wind out of me for a second or two but I felt no pain and, other than being slightly sore the next day, suffered no noticeable affects. Then, about six weeks ago, it began to feel like there was a bulge to the left of my spine (that's the only way I can explain it), but there is no external evidence of anything abnormal. Whatever this is does not cause pain but I do feel pressure that becomes more noticeable after sitting or standing for long periods of time. Discomfort but no pain. Very strange.

It's almost time for my Bone Density appointment. Will a fracture be detected if that's what this is? If not a fracture, what else might this indicate?

P.S. I'm an active 64 year old female renovating a small 100 year old home so I do tend to lift, climb, reach, shove, etc., but if this is a muscle strain, wouldn't than cause pain? I'm stumped.

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1 Response


Hi, Nancy--thanks for sending us your questions! Interestingly enough, you can have spinal fractures without any pain. This article does a good job explaining the spectrum of symptoms associated with spinal fractures ( Symptoms of Spinal Fractures ).

Imaging scans are the best way to determine if you have spinal fracture or other spinal problem (such as a herniated disc). Your doctor may take a CT scan, x-ray, or MRI to adequately see all your spinal structures. Separately from your bone density appointment, we encourage you to reach out to your personal doctor or perhaps a spine specialist to get to the bottom of your symptoms, as the root cause may not show up on a bone density exam.

Keep us posted on what you find out--we wish you the very best of luck!