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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1994 Nov;76(6):882-6.

Sacral insufficiency fractures in the elderly.

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St George Hospital, Kogarah, Australia.


Sacral insufficiency fractures are not uncommon in elderly patients. We have diagnosed 20 cases in a five-year period, and have reviewed the clinical records, radiographs, CT and bone scans. We also assessed the degree of osteoporosis by measuring bone density using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and bone histomorphometry, and monitored the patients' functional outcome. Bone scans were positive in all 20 patients, CT showed a fracture or sclerosis in 7 of 12 patients and was useful in excluding malignancy. Plain radiographs were the least helpful, showing sclerosis in only 4 of the 20 patients. Involutional osteoporosis with a reduced bone formation rate was the most common underlying cause. Seventeen patients had complete resolution of pain within nine months, and no patient lost independence in daily activities. Increased awareness of these fractures may help to avoid unnecessary investigation and treatment. Bedrest and analgesia followed by rehabilitation provide good relief of symptoms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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