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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1992 Feb;74(2):211-8.

Residual bone-mineral density and muscle strength after fractures of the tibia or femur in children.

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1
University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27599-7055.

Abstract

This study compared the bone-mineral density in the proximal part of the femur and the flexion and extension strength of the knee in the fractured and the non-fractured limbs after an uncomplicated fracture of the tibia or femur in children. Thirty-eight children, whose ages ranged from two to fifteen years at the time of the injury, were evaluated at an average of 2.3 years after the injury. The mean difference in bone-mineral density between the fractured and non-fractured limbs was 3.3 per cent (p = 0.004). There was no significant difference between the bone-mineral density of the limbs that had been immobilized for less than four weeks and that of the contralateral, non-fractured limbs. However, the mean difference between the bone-mineral density of the limbs that had been immobilized for more than eight weeks and that of the contralateral limbs was 4.3 per cent (p = 0.006). There was little or no relationship between the time since the injury and the difference in bone-mineral density between the two limbs of the patient at the intervals of follow-up that were studied. No residual weakness in flexion and extension of the knee was detected, and no relationship was established between the limb-to-limb differences in strength and the limb-to-limb differences in bone-mineral density. The residual bone-mineral deficit was found to be minimum after an uncomplicated fracture. This difference, while statistically significant, is unlikely to be clinically important in the long term. However, the fact that there was a deficit raises a potential concern for children who have more severe or repeated injuries.

PMID:
1541615
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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