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ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis. Coloured sagittal (side) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan through the back of a 60-year-old patient with osteoporosis. The front of the body is at left. The spinal blocks of bone (vertebrae, brown) are seen enclosing the spinal cord (pink). Several vertebrae have collapsed due to the effects of osteoporosis. Good examples are just above centre and at upper centre. The effect of these collapses is a hunched spinal curvature (upper left). Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone density due to loss of bone material. It is mostly seen in the elderly and menopausal women. Surgical intervention can stabilise the spine. MRI scanning uses magnets and radio waves to image the body.
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