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Arm Fractures Indicate Greater Risk of Hip Fractures in Elderly Patients
Date:3/2/2009

Understanding the relationship between the two events may help prevent future fractures

ROSEMONT, Ill., March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Elderly women with upper arm fractures are five times more likely than the general population to experience a broken hip in the 12 months following the arm fracture, according to a study published in the March 2009 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (http://www.ejbjs.org/) (JBJS). Understanding that risk can be a key to preventing those fractures, the study notes.

"There have been studies in the past showing a relationship between upper arm fractures and hip fractures (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00417), but we wanted to determine when that risk is greatest," says Jeremiah Clinton, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and associate professor of orthopaedics at the University of Washington in Seattle. "By recognizing when that period of increased risk occurs, physicians have a window of opportunity to take steps that may possibly prevent a subsequent fracture."

"The older population is at a greater risk for fall-related fractures, due to the fact that their bones are generally more brittle than the younger population," Dr. Clinton adds. "These types of low-energy fractures are referred to in the literature as 'fragility fractures.'"

Elderly patients may fall (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00135) due to a number of reasons, including:

  • effects of medications
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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