ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis of the spine. Computer-enhanced X- ray of vertebrae of the spine in a patient suffering osteoporosis. Vertebral bones (orange) are seen cushioned between intervertebral discs (blue). Here, vertebral bones appear wedge-shaped due to decreased bone density which has led to bone compression. The vertebra at upper right is severely compressed, with bending of the spine. Compression of the bones in osteoporosis can cause severe pain, spinal curvature and loss of height. Osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) is most common and severe in post-menopausal women due to low oestrogen hormone levels which help to maintain bone mass. Hormone therapy (HRT) is a treatment.
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