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J Hand Surg Br. 1986 Oct;11(3):357-9.

Regional bone mineral density changes after Colles' and forehand fractures.


Patients who sustain a second Colles' fracture only in one of five instances refracture the previously injured wrist. In those who have sustained fractures of the metacarpals or phalanges of the hand (forehand) subsequent fractures of the forehand are twice as likely to be ipsilateral. We investigated whether persisting regional bone mineral changes could be the mechanism underlying these observations. Bilateral bone mineral density measurements were performed on twenty patients who had sustained a Colles' fracture and twenty-nine who had sustained forehand fractures more than one year previously. Among Colles' fracture patients there was an increase in bone mineral density in the distal radius of the fractured side when compared to the uninjured side of thirty-nine percent. The protection of these patients from subsequent ipsilateral Colles' fracture seems to be due to increased bone strength induced by the healing process. Among patients with forehand fractures no significant bone mineral changes could be demonstrated.

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