Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Osteoporotic Fracture

Osteoporotic fractures of the spine are most commonly caused by osteoporosis, which thins and weakens the bones and makes them more vulnerable to fracture. Other causes include:

  • Trauma to the back
  • Tumors in the bone

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

  • Abnormal absence of menstrual periods
  • Advanced age
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Being Caucasian or Asian
  • Being thin or having a small frame
  • Current low bone mass
  • Estrogen deficiency
  • Family history
  • Low lifetime calcium intake
  • Low testosterone in men
  • Excessive use of alcohol


To make an accurate diagnosis of osteoporotic fractures, your physician will conduct a physical examination of your spine to determine whether you have kyphosis or any tenderness in regions along the affected bones of your spine. Other tests may include:

  • Bone density test
  • A CT scan or MRI when a trauma or tumor is suspected
  • Spinal X-ray

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