'Dowager's hump'

'Dowager's hump'

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Credit: JOHN RADCLIFFE HOSPITAL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: "Dowager's hump": the deformation of the spine of an elderly woman due to osteoporosis, a loss of bony tissue due to lack of calcium salts. This results in brittle bones liable to fracture. Generalised osteoporosis is common in elderly patients & may affect women following menopause. It is also a feature of Cushing's disease & prolonged steroid therapy. Localized osteoporosis may arise from injury, infection and synovitis (inflammation of the synovial membrane lining the joints). The condition may be averted by oestrogen therapy during the menopause (the use of such hormones is controversial).

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Keywords: bone disease, condition, disease, disorder, dowager's hump, healthcare, medical, medicine, osteoporosis

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