Osteoporosis of the spine, X-ray

Osteoporosis of the spine, X-ray

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Credit: ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Osteoporosis of the spine. X-rays of the lumbar (lower back) vertebrae of the spine of a 72-year-old patient affected by osteoporosis, showing the progression of a fracture over the course of 4 weeks. Front of the body is at left. Osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) causes loss in bone density, making the bones thinner and more likely to break. Here, the L3 vertebra (highlighted) has gradually collapsed and the anterior region (left of each scan) has eroded.

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