MEDICAL PHOTO NHS LOTHIAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEDICAL PHOTO NHS LOTHIAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinal fracture in osteoporosis. X-ray of the vertebrae of a patient who has suffered fracture of the spine due to osteoporosis. The normal spine is seen as rectangular segments of bone, making up the body of each vertebra. At lower & upper centre are triangular vertebrae with wide disc spaces between. These vertebrae have fractured in shape & compressed, causing forward curving of the spine (kyphosis). Osteoporosis or "brittle bone disease" leads to reduced bone density. There is thus a greater risk of bone fractures, particularly in the spine. Osteoporosis is usually due to hormonal imbalance, common in women after the menopause.
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