doctor looking at an x-ray

Your Guide to Bone Health

Learn how to keep your bones healthy and understand your risks for osteoporosis and vertebral compression fractures (VCFs)


Have you recently thought that your adult children seem taller? Do you need to hem pants you've worn for years? Are you suddenly unable to reach a shelf?

VCFs are the most common fracture in people with osteoporosis, affecting about one-quarter of postmenopausal women in the United States. VCFs happen when the bony block or vertebral body in the spine collapses, which can lead to severe pain, deformity and height loss. Typically, a VCF occurs without an injury or pain and can be caused by something as insignificant as a sneeze.

In our new Bone Health education program, we help you understand why women experience bone loss, how to maintain healthy bones, and the first signs of a VCF. We also explore nonsurgical treatment options and a minimally invasive surgery — balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) — that can stabilize a fracture. Learn how real women like Georgia Reber, a foster mother of six, regained her mobility thanks to the outpatient procedure.

We invite you to discover more stories about women like Georgia who have overcome a VCF and find out what you need to know about this condition as well as osteoporosis. Read on to learn more.

Created with support from Medtronic

Osteoporosis and Vertebral Compression Fractures Resource List

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that happens when the body loses too much bone, does not make enough bone, or both. Bones then become weaker and can break from falls or other events. These types of bone breaks are most common in the hip, spine or wrist. When osteoporosis weakens the bones of the spine, a vertebral compression fracture may occur. Women are more at risk for osteoporosis and the most rapid time for bone loss is menopause. For more information, be sure to contact your healthcare provider and visit the links provided below.

HealthyWomen Resources

Additional Resources