What Is an Osteoporotic Fracture?

Osteoporotic fractures are a result of osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become more fragile due to bone deterioration or low bone mass. Bones that are weaker or more fragile are at greater risk for fractures. Fractures occur commonly in the spine. Bone loss can occur without any symptoms, until the fracture actually occurs. Osteoporotic fractures can arise with minimal trauma, such as a strain, bump or fall.

In individuals with osteoporosis,a fracture can be caused by even a minor fall or during routine activities, such as twisting and bending. Typically, significant back pain along the spine is experienced after a fracture happens.

10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and 34 million individuals over the age of 50 are at risk of developing osteoporosis. More than 700,000 vertebral body compression fractures occur per year in the United States. Half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in their lifetime. 50 percent of these fractures are spinal fractures.

80 percent of the individuals who have osteoporosis are women and the condition occurs more often in older individuals, but can also occur in men, and also at any age.

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