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Upper spinal X-ray indicates a compression fracture, no instance of trauma. Is MRI required for further investigation?

My husband had an upper spinal X-ray done at an urgent care center because of pain he had been having for a few weeks. The doctor there said that two of the disks looked slightly closer together and could indicate a compression fracture , and that he should get an MRI to investigate further. My husband is a healthy 32 yr old with no known traumatic event that could have caused this -- I read that this can happen with bone cancer???
Asked On : Thu, 25 Oct 2012
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Pathologist and Microbiologist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to HCM
There are many causes for spinal compression fracture depending on the age of the patient. These are:
1. Trauma to the spine
2. Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is decrease in density of the bone. It is common in postmenopausal women.
3. Pathological fractures: Fractures occuring in bone which has prexisting disease
4. Malignancy: Primary tumor of the bone eg Myeloma, Lymphoma or tumor metastatic from some other site eg carcinoma prostate, carcinoma lung, carcinoma breast
5. Diabetes Mellitus can also cause spinal compression fractures

You should go for MRI further to know the cause.
Possibility of cancer at this age is less common but further invastigations will be needed to rule out a cancer.

Thanks and take care
Dr shailja P Wahal
Answered: Thu, 25 Oct 2012
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