MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis wrist fracture. Coloured X-ray of a Colles' fracture to the wrist of an elderly woman suffering from osteoporosis. At lower centre (yellow) can be seen a fracture to the distal ulna and radius bones of the forearm, where they join at the wrist to the hand. Brittleness of these bones has caused them to snap under pressure. Colles' fracture of the radius usually follows a fall. It is a common fracture in woman over forty whose bones are weakened by osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). This disease is due to lowered oestrogen hormone levels after the menopause. The fracture causes the hand to be displaced back- wards. A plaster cast is used to realign bones.
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