What are the physical findings of vertebral compression fractures due to osteoporosis?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

On physical examination, patients with vertebral compression fractures may demonstrate the following:

  • With acute vertebral fractures, point tenderness over the involved vertebra
  • Thoracic kyphosis with an exaggerated cervical lordosis (dowager's hump)
  • Subsequent loss of lumbar lordosis
  • A decrease in the height of 2-3 cm after each vertebral compression fracture and progressive kyphosis

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