The dowager’s hump – hunchback in osteoporosis
Causes for a dowager’s hump / hunchback
A dowager’s hump is usually caused by vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis. This is a metabolism-related skeletal disease that is also known as “bone loss”. Post-menopausal and elderly women are particularly affected. The earlier colloquial expression therefore for the hunchback associated with the disease is “dowager’s hump”.
In osteoporosis, the bones lose density and stability. Fractures are particularly common in the femur and spine. If the vertebral bodies collapse, it is referred to as “compression fractures".
Symptoms of dowager’s hump / hunchback
The complaint of back pain is considered to be the main symptom of osteoporotic vertebral fracture. If there is acute back pain, then vertebral fractures are suspected – especially if the affected person is over 50 years old and there are risk factors for osteoporosis. In osteoporosis, pulmonary function may also be impaired by fractures (bone fractures) and curvature in the thoracic spine.