TITLE

Estrogens and the intervertebral disc

AUTHOR(S)
Calleja-Agius, J.; Muscat-Baron, Y.; Brincat, M. P.
PUB. DATE
September 2009
SOURCE
Menopause International;Sep2009, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p127
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Intervertebral discs are an integral part of the vertebral column. It has been shown that menopause has a negative effect on bone and on intervertebral discs. Estrogen has a beneficial effect of preserving the health of collagen-containing tissues, including the intervertebral disc. The intervertebral disc allows for mobility of the spine, and maintains a uniform stress distribution of the area of the vertebral endplates. Also, the disc influences spinal height. The disc tissue is adapted for this biomechanical function. The function of the spine is impaired if there is a loss of disc tissue. Narrowing of the disc space due to degeneration of intervertebral discs is associated with a significantly increased risk of vertebral fractures. Estrogen should be seen as the first-choice therapy for bones and other collagen-rich tissues, such as intervertebral discs, because it maintains homeostasis of the bone-remodelling unit. Unlike bisphosphonates, estrogen is unique in its ability to regenerate bone collagen after its disintegration, apart from suppressing osteoclastic activity. Besides, there is insufficient data on deterioration in bone qualities and micro-cracks in patients on long-term bisphosphonates.
ACCESSION #
44276463

 

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