DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis. Coloured X-ray of a side view of the lumbar (lower) spine of a 65 year old woman showing vertebral damage due to osteoporosis. The front of the woman's body is at right, with the pelvis in lower frame. Here, a damaged vertebra (centre) has become compressed and wedge-shaped, distorting the shape of the spine. Osteoporosis is a lowering of bone density causing bones to become brittle and liable to fracture. In this disease, spinal bones of the lower back more commonly fracture as these bones support the weight of the body. Osteoporosis is more common in elderly women as after the menopause levels of female hormone which help to maintain bone mass decrease.
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