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Osteoporosis therapies might lead to intervertebral disc degeneration via affecting cartilage endplate

Zhen Sun, Zhuo-Jing Luo
Medical Hypotheses 2019, 125: 5-7
Osteoporosis and intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) are both age-related diseases of the musculoskeletal system. With the average life expectancy longer than ever, the morbidity caused by these two diseases is increasing. Nowadays, treatment strategies for osteoporosis are mainly aimed at increasing the mineral density of the bone. Some of these therapies, including vitamin D, calcium, bisphosphonates, Wnt signal activators and parathyroid hormone regulators, have been suggested to be capable of causing calcification of the cartilage endplate in the intervertebral disc. This alteration could block nutrient and oxygen transportation to the center part of the disc, thus lead to intervertebral disc degeneration. Consequently, we hypothesize that osteoporosis therapies might be a potential risk for IDD. This assumption indicates that we should take the alterations of the cartilage endplate into consideration in further osteoporosis treatment to avoid IDD in the patient.


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