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How can bone fractures affect your vertebrae?

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When your vertebrae -- the small bones of your spine -- get thin and weak, it doesn't take a fall to break them. They can just start to crumble. And you may not feel any pain when it happens.

Your vertebrae work together to support your body, so a fracture can keep you from bending, leaning, and twisting the way you do every day -- as when you tie your shoes or take a shower. And once you have a spinal fracture, you're more likely to have another one.

If more than one vertebra starts to crumble, you may have a hunched-over posture that gets worse with time. That can cause severe pain and affect your lungs, intestines, and heart.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Osteoporosis."

International Osteoporosis Foundation: "Impact of Osteoporosis."

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Osteoporotic fractures in older adults."

Osteoporosis Canada: "Osteoporosis Facts & Statistics."

OrthoInfo: "Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: "Arthritis and Osteoporosis in Australia 2008."

NIH, National Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center: "Once Is Enough: A Guide to Preventing Future Fractures."

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: "Vertical Compression Fractures."

MyHIVClinic.org: "Osteoporosis."

University of Rochester: "Hip Fracture."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on May 23, 2018

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Osteoporosis."

International Osteoporosis Foundation: "Impact of Osteoporosis."

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Osteoporotic fractures in older adults."

Osteoporosis Canada: "Osteoporosis Facts & Statistics."

OrthoInfo: "Osteoporosis and Spinal Fractures."

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare: "Arthritis and Osteoporosis in Australia 2008."

NIH, National Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center: "Once Is Enough: A Guide to Preventing Future Fractures."

American Association of Neurological Surgeons: "Vertical Compression Fractures."

MyHIVClinic.org: "Osteoporosis."

University of Rochester: "Hip Fracture."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on May 23, 2018

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How can hip fractures affect you?

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