Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Upper Spine FAQ


My mother had osteoporosis in her later years. She often complained about getting shorter. Is there a connection?


Yes. If the spine is affected by osteoporosis, the vertebrae become fragile from a loss of bone density. This in turn causes each vertebra to become slightly shorter. The combined loss of height in the vertebrae can account for the decrease in a person's stature.

Another explanation is that the affected vertebrae can be compressed merely from the weight of the body or from minor trauma. This is called a compression fracture. Such a fracture can result in loss of height as well as the "humpback" appearance sometimes seen in those with osteoporosis.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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