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Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine

  Spine Fracture

Broken bones in the spine - also called vertebral fractures - are the most common type of fracture linked to osteoporosis. It is vertebral fractures that make many older women appear stooped.
  For women with severe osteoporosis, spine fractures can be caused by something as simple as sneezing hard or taking a hard step. For women with moderate osteoporosis, it takes a bit more jarring to cause a fracture but can still happen doing run-of-the-mill activities, like picking up a heavy box or stumbling down a step.  
  Though usually treated without surgery, recovery takes many weeks and can hamper normal activities. Patients are encouraged to stay active but can't pick up anything heavy, like a shopping bag or a toddler. Severe, long term pain is another problem linked to spine fracture. It doesn't affect all patients but can significantly affect quality of life in those it does.  
  The good news? A health lifestyle can help lower the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. If you've already had a fracture, there are medications that can lower your risk of having another one.  
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