Spinal fractures, also called compression fractures, are caused by a weakening of the bone in the spine. A fracture occurs when the weakened vertebrae of the spine collapse, usually in the middle (thoracic) or lower (lumbar) spine.
In older adults, osteoporosis—a progressive weakening of the bone over time—is the primary cause of spinal fractures. Fractures typically occur in women over the age of 60 who are affected by osteoporosis. Spinal fractures can also occur among younger people whose bones have become fragile due to the long-term use of steroids or other drugs to treat diseases such as lupus, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
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