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38.7 MB (1.2 MB compressed)
3969 x 3405 pixels
33.5 x 29.0 cm ⏐ 13.2 x 11.4 in (300dpi)
ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Fractured osteoporotic spine. Coloured 3D CT (computed tomography) scan of the fractured spine of a 67-year-old patient. A collapsed spinal bone (vertebra) is seen second from top. This vertebra is the twelfth thoracic vertebra (T12), the lowest of the chest vertebrae. The collapse has made the vertebra above T12 slip forward. This breakage has been caused by the bones being weakened due to osteoporosis, a condition where bone mass and density is lost. It is more common in elderly women after the menopause. A collapsed vertebra can lead to a permanently hunched back, requiring surgical intervention to straighten the spine.
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