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How do compression fractures affect the spine?

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After a number of small compression fractures, your body begins to show the effects. The strength and shape of the spine can change. You lose height because your spine is shorter.

Most compression fractures happen in the front of the vertebra. When you get enough of them, the front part of the bone can collapse. The back of the vertebra is made of harder bone, so it stays intact. That creates a wedge-shaped vertebra, which can lead to the stooped posture you might know as a dowager's hump. Doctors call it kyphosis.

From: Causes of Spinal Compression Fractures WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Black D. 2000.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab,

Cooper C. 1993. Bone,

Kado D. 1999.  Arch Intern Med,

Michael Schaufele, MD, physiatrist and professor of orthopaedics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. 

Rex Marco, MD, chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. 

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

National Osteoporosis Foundation.

 

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 26, 2016

SOURCES: 

Black D. 2000.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab,

Cooper C. 1993. Bone,

Kado D. 1999.  Arch Intern Med,

Michael Schaufele, MD, physiatrist and professor of orthopaedics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. 

Rex Marco, MD, chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston. 

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

National Osteoporosis Foundation.

 

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on September 26, 2016

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What groups of people are at the highest risk for spinal compression fractures?

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