Outcome of distal radius fractures in relation to bone mineral density.

Published online: Dec 27 2003

Hollevoet N, Verdonk R.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Physical Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium


The purpose of this study was to determine whether osteoporosis influenced the clinical results of distal radius fractures in women above the age of 40 years. Forty patients underwent bone mineral densitometry of the distal forearm, hip and lumbar spine. Radiographs of both wrists were taken at the time of fracture healing and the difference in ulnar variance, palmar tilt and radial inclination with the contralateral wrist was measured. Wrist mobility, grip strength and pain relief were determined in 35 patients with a follow-up of more than one year. We found that the clinical results correlated better with bone mineral density than with the radiological parameters. Osteoporosis may be one of the factors affecting the outcome of distal radius fractures.