38.8 MB (3.8 MB compressed)
3143 x 4312 pixels
26.7 x 36.6 cm ⏐ 10.5 x 14.4 in (300dpi)
MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Curved spine in osteoporosis. Computer-enhanced X-ray of the curved and deformed thoracic spine of a woman suffering from osteoporosis. In this bone disease the vertebrae (centre) have taken on a wedge-shape and have compressed. Crumbling of the bones may also occur with loss of bone density. This has led to severe spinal curvature, loss of height, and may cause pain. Osteoporosis is due to a loss of protein tissue from bone, making bones brittle and liable to fracture. The disease is most common and severe in post- menopausal women due to low oestrogen hormone levels which help to maintain bone mass. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment.
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