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Childhood fractures may indicate bone-density problems
Date:1/7/2014

ROCHESTER, Minn. Broken bones may seem like a normal part of an active childhood. About 1 in 3 otherwise healthy children suffers a bone fracture. Breakage of the bone running from the elbow to the thumb side of the wrist (distal forearm fracture) is the most common. It occurs most often during the growth spurt that children typically undergo in early adolescence.

But a recent study at Mayo Clinic, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, indicates that certain types of fractures may have implications for a child's long-term bone health. The study found evidence that children and adolescents whose forearm fractures occurred due to mild trauma had lower bone strength compared to other children. Lower bone strength may predispose children to factures resulting from weakened bone (osteoporotic fracture) later in life.

"Our study highlights the need for clinicians to consider the level of trauma preceding the injury, when treating children and adolescents who present with fracture," says Joshua Farr, Ph.D., a research fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and lead author of the study. "Fractures from moderate trauma appear more likely to occur in the setting of normal bone strength. But fractures resulting from mild trauma suggest an underlying skeletal deficit."

"We can't say with certainty that these skeletal deficits will track into adulthood. They may be transient," Dr. Farr adds. "But we think that trauma classification is a clinical variable that could be used to more closely monitor kids who are suffering mild-trauma fractures. Intervention in terms of diet and physical activity might be used to optimize bone strength."

The Mayo study compared bone strength in children with recent distal forearm fractures due to mild trauma, children with such fractures due to moderate trauma, and children without fractures. Mild trauma was defined as a fall from a standing height, and moderate trauma was defined as a
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Contact: Colette Gallagher
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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