NOF Tip for 20 May – Vertebral Fractures

May 20, 2020 Leave your thoughts

Vertebral Compression Fractures are often not recognized as anything more than a seriously pulled muscle.  I personally made that mistake 30+ years ago.  Only when I was tested on our new DXA machine which made Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) easy to obtain, did I recognize that I had actually suffered a 30% compression fracture.  Oops.

We do VFA on every patient we evaluate.  VFA added to DXA improves accuracy in assessing bone health.  I have published the largest single center, single provider study of 1259 patients comparing DXA alone to DXA + VFA in Endocrine Practice 2017:23:1375-8.  We use our DXA machine because it is quick and easy.  Lateral Spine X-rays also work.

NOF has an excellent summary of VFA and vertebral fractures at

If you are losing height or are developing a humped back (kyphosis) or simply want a more complete evaluation, ask for a VFA along with your DXA.  Know more, do more to prevent more Vertebral Compression Fractures.

Jay Ginther, MD

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