Vitamin D deficiency in orthopaedic patients A single center analysis

Published online: Oct 27 2013

Gerrit Steffen MAIER, Philipp JAKOB, Konstantin HORAS, Klaus Edgar ROTH, Andreas Alois KURTH, Uwe MAUS

From Johannes-Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany


Vitamin D is essential to bone health and is a major regulator of calcium homeostasis. Many recent reports demonstrated worldwide high rates of vitamin D deficiency, but few studies have been published on the vitamin D status of orthopaedic patients. The present study aimed to investigate the extent of hypovitaminosis D of orthopaedic patients and possible variations in vitamin D status according to the body region which was scheduled to undergo surgery. We measured the vitamin D level of 1119 patients consecutively admitted to an orthopaedic surgery department of a university hospital in Germany in 2011. The prevalence of normal (≤ 30 ng/ml), insufficient (20-30 ng/ml) and deficient (≤ 20 ng/ml) 25-OH-D levels was determined. Serum Vitamin D levels and rates of insufficiency and deficiency were compared between the different cohorts using two-tailed tests. The level of significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. The serum 25-OH-D levels for all participants were normally distributed, with a mean of 20.57 ng/ml. Overall, we noted an alarmingly high rate of vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency among orthopaedic patients. No significant difference was found related with the various body regions scheduled to undergo surgery. Given the well-known effects of vitamin D on bone metabolism and muscle health, vitamin D insufficiency may negatively affect patients.