These injuries are serious and demand a physician’s care. They also can take many forms. For instance, a traumatic event, like a car wreck or a fall from a height, can lead to fractures. Plus, young athletes are prone to stress fractures brought on by putting too much pressure on the lower back. Older adults may suffer from osteoporosis, which weakens vertebrae. Once this occurs, pressure on a fragile spine bone may cause a vertical break, known as a compression fracture. These injuries affect about 700,000 people annually. Because spinal fractures vary greatly, so do treatments, which depend on a break’s type, location, cause, and severity. The mildest cases may heal with little more than rest, medication and, perhaps, use of a brace. When surgery is needed, doctors want to fit bone together, allow early movement and relieve pressure on nerves and the spinal cord.