Tibial fractures: Long-term persistence of bone loss

P. Bertocco, A. Montesano, G. Baccalaro, Ivan Guarducci, A. Uderzo, S. Ortolani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Post-traumatic osteopenia can affect the bone after a fracture injury. The modelling and remodelling functions of the bone involved realize a bone resorption with a net decrease in bone density both closed and not closed to the site of fracture. This reduction in bone density in spite of fracture healing could be maintained along time. The study was aimed to assess the long-term tibial bone mineral density changes after post-traumatic fractures. Methods. We carried out a cross-sectional, controlled (fractured legs vs non fractured legs as controls) study on 21 patients (10 men; 11 women) who were followed-up for at least 2 years since surgery. Tibial bone mineral density (BMD) was assessed using the spine software provided by Hologic (Hologic QDR 2000 plus) using standardised regions of interest (ROI). Results. The bone mineral density of the regions of interest was significantly reduced in injured vs controlateral legs, both at metaphyseal and epiphyseal sites. Conclusions. The results are able to confirm that a fractured leg has a long-lasting osteopenia that can be considered as a locus minoris resistentiae for a possible refracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalMinerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Bone demineralization, pathologic
  • Bone density
  • Tibial fractures, complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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