The further reduction in trabecular bone volume observed in patients with osteoporotic vertebral fracture was mainly due to a further reduction in plate density.
Skeletal Aging and Osteoporosis - CERN Document Server
There was a relatively smaller reduction in plate thickness that was statistically significant in males but not in females. Only in patients with hip fracture did trabecular thinning contribute substantially to the additional loss of trabecular bone in osteoporosis relative to age. These data indicate that age-related bone loss occurs principally by a process that removes entire structural elements of bone; those that remain are more widely separated and some may undergo compensatory thickening, but most slowly become reduced in thickness.
We propose that the process of removal is initiated by increased depth of osteoclastic resorption cavities which leads to focal perforation of trabecular plates; this is followed by progressive enlargement of the perforations with conversion of plates to rods. The resulting structural changes are more severe in osteoporotic patients than in normal subjects, but have been completed in most patients before they develop symptoms.
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