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Top 10 Spinal Injuries

Osteoporosis

Loss of bone mineral causes weakening of the vertebrae, a condition commonly associated with menopause in women, but also occurring in men after the age of 70 years. Osteoporosis is not of itself a painful condition, but it may cause the sudden onset of back pain should a vertebral fracture occur. The nature of the typical fracture does not usually cause nerve root or spinal cord compression. However, the fracture may cause kyphosis, an abnormal increased roundness of the back.

Prevention is the best treatment, including regular exercise, calcium and vitamin D supplementation and sometimes medications that retard the loss of bone mineral. The use of hormonal replacement is controversial as it may increase the risk of breast cancer and stroke.

If a vertebral body fracture does occur due to osteoporosis then a minimally invasive surgical treatment called kyphoplasty is available.

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