The role of osteoporosis in distal radius fractures.

Published online: Apr 27 2000

N Hollevoet, S Goemaere, F Mortier, P Van Bouchaute, J M Kaufman, and R Verdonk.

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


Our study was designed to establish whether the degree of osteoporosis of the distal forearm affects the outcome of distal radius fractures in elderly women. We assessed the Gartland and Werley score, wrist mobility, grip strength, ulnar variance, radial inclination and palmar tilt of both wrists in 27 postmenopausal women who had sustained a unilateral distal radius fracture following a simple fall. Bone mineral density of the contralateral uninjured wrist and mid-tibial ultrasound velocity were measured. The Gartland and Werley score, wrist mobility, loss of grip strength and the radiological results of the fractured wrist did not correlate with bone mineral density of the uninjured distal radius or with mid-tibial ultrasound velocity. These results may indicate that the influence of osteoporosis on the radiological and clinical outcome in distal radius fractures is not very important.