In a compression fracture the body of the bone tissue of the vertebra collapses. This can occur because of trauma or a disease process such as osteoporosis or a tumor.
Review Date: 11/15/2012 Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.