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Osteoporotic bone. Gross clinical specimen of a sectioned backbone affected by osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). The disease has caused thinning of the spongy bone mass (brown) within the bony segments (vertebrae) of the backbone. This makes the bone more porous, increasing its brittleness and the chance of fracture. Osteoporosis commonly affects post-menopausal women, who experience a decrease in levels of the hormone oestrogen. It may also develop after injury or infection. Oestrogen replacement and drugs that slow the rate of bone loss are used to treat the disease.
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