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Title: Prolonged Unilateral Disuse Osteopenia 14 Years Post External Fixator Removal: A Case History and Critical Review
Authors: Knapp, Karen M.
Rowlands, Ann V.
Welsman, Joanne R.
Macleod, Kenneth M.
First Published: 2010
Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Citation: Case Reports in Medicine, 2010, 2010, Article ID 629020
Abstract: Disuse osteopenia is a complication of immobilisation, with reversal generally noted upon remobilisation. This case report focuses on a patient who was seen 18 years following a road traffic collision when multiple fractures were sustained. The patient had an external fixator fitted for a tibia and fibula fracture, which remained in situ for a period of 4 years. Following removal, the patient was mobilised but, still required a single crutch to aid walking. Fourteen years post removal of the fixator, the patient had a DXA scan which, demonstrated a T-score 2.5 SD lower on the affected hip. This places the patient at an increased risk of hip fracture on this side, which requires monitoring. There appear to be no current studies investigating prolonged disuse-osteopenia in patients following removal of long-term external fixators. Further research is required to quantify unilateral long-term effects to bone health and fracture risk in this population.
DOI Link: 10.1155/2010/629020
ISSN: 1687-9627
eISSN: 1687-9635
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2010. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology

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