Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Osteoporosis is a disease of bone in which bone density is reduced, which may increase the chance that a person could sustain a vertebral compression fracture with little or no trauma.
Osteoporosis most commonly occurs in women who have completed menopause, but it can also occur in elderly men and in people who have had long-term use of a steroid medication such as prednisone.
Trauma: Injury severe enough to cause a vertebra to break can occur with a fall from a tall height in which the person lands on his or her feet or buttocks. It can also occur in a person involved in a car accident.
Pathologic fracture is a fracture occurring in the vertebra due to preexisting disease at the fracture site.
Most commonly, this type of break is from cancer in the bone, which has often traveled from other sites in the body, such as from the prostate, breast, or lungs.
Pathologic fracture can also occur with other diseases, such as Paget's disease of bone and infection of bone (osteomyelitis).
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