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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Apr;83(4):298-303.

Beneficial effect of etidronate therapy in immobilized hip fracture patients.

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Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine, Institute of Brain Science, Hirosaki University School of Medicine, Hirosaki, Japan.

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Hip fracture is among the most common causes of acute immobilization in elderly patients leading to increased bone resorption, and elderly patients with hip fracture are at high risk for a subsequent hip fracture.


In this double-blind, randomized, prospective study, 80 female patients who were immobilized because of a hip fracture were divided into two groups. The etidronate group received oral administration of 200 mg/day etidronate for 2 wks starting 1 day after the surgery. Then, after a 9-wk intermission, etidronate administration was resumed for 2 wks. The placebo group received placebo in a similar manner.


At baseline, both groups had high serum concentrations of ionized calcium, high urinary deoxypyridinoline (D-Pyr) concentrations, and decreased calcitriol concentrations, suggesting immobilization-induced hypercalcemia and inhibition of renal synthesis of calcitriol. After treatment, serum calcitriol concentrations increased in the etidronate and placebo groups. The etidronate group had significant decreases in serum ionized calcium and urinary D-Pyr, and the placebo group had higher serum calcium and urinary D-Pyr concentrations.


Etidronate therapy inhibits bone resorption and improves calcium balance, and such therapy may prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of subsequent hip fracture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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