VCFs occur when the combined axial and bending loads on the spine exceed the strength of the vertebral body (16) . Reduction in the individual vertebral body strength may result from infiltrative processes created by benign or malignant tumors or, more commonly, from bone mineral loss precipitated by osteoporosis (17–19) . Osteoporosis, which may be age-related (primary) or due to steroid use (secondary), is the most common cause of VCF in the United States (20) . VCF may be defined as either a radiographic or a symptomatic clinical event (21) . The prevalence of radiographic VCF has been reported by Melton et al (22) to be as high as 26% in women 50 years old or older. The frequency of radiographic evidence of VCF increases from 500 per 100,000 person years (py) in women aged 50 to 54 years to 2960 per 100,000 py in women more than 85 years old. Radiographic changes may be present without the patient experiencing pain. Cooper et al (23) found an age- and sex-adjusted incidence of clinically symptomatic VCF of 123 per 100,000 py for the years 1985 to 1989 in a population-based study in Rochester, MN (men and women of all
American Journal of Neuroradiology – American Journal of Neuroradiology
Published: Feb 1, 2001
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