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Osteoporos Int., 2002; 13(12): 980-9, PMID: 12459941

Measurement of bone adjacent to tibial shaft fracture

Jahr: 2002

Findlay SC, Eastell R, Ingle BM
Bone Metabolism Group, Section of Medicine, Division of Clinical Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


Delayed union and non-union are common complications after fracture of the tibial shaft. Response of the surrounding bone as a fracture heals could be monitored using techniques currently used in the study of osteoporosis. The aims of our study were to: (1) evaluate the decrement in bone measurements made close to the fracture using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), quantitative ultrasound (QUS) and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT); (2) compare values for fractured versus non-fractured leg to determine the duration of decrement in bone measurements; and (3) calculate short-term precision in DXA, QUS and pQCT in order to calculate the ratio of decrement to precision (response ratio, RR) to determine the optimal test for monitoring changes after tibial fracture. The biggest decrement in bone measurements at the ipsilateral limb of 28 patients with tibial shaft fracture was observed at the pQCT tibial trabecular sites (distal = 19%, p<0.0001; proximal 5% = 21%, p<0.001; proximal 10% = 28%, p<0.001) and the ultradistal tibia/fibula measured by DXA (19%, p<0.0001). When comparing Z-scores, the magnitude of decrements at the ipsilateral limb was bigger for variables measured directly at the tibia, both proximal and distal to the fracture. The magnitude of the decrement in ultradistal tibia/fibula BMD decreased as the time since fracture increased ( r = 0.55). When response ratios are considered, pQCT measurements at the distal tibia (RR 6-8) and proximal 5% and 10% trabecular sites (RR 5 and 9 respectively) were found to be the most sensitive to change. Therefore, pQCT of the trabecular regions of either the proximal or distal tibia should prove the most sensitive measurement for monitoring changes in bone adjacent to a tibial shaft fracture.

GID: 1094; Letzte Änderung: 07.02.2008