Association Between Bone Mineral Density and Elderly Ankle Fractures: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


      Ankle fractures are becoming increasingly more common in the elderly population and present a significant burden to the United States health care system. Many factors have been associated with fragility ankle fractures including age, gender, body mass index, diabetes, tobacco use, and osteoporosis. However, the literature is inconsistent regarding the relationship between ankle fractures and osteoporosis. The primary aim of this meta-analysis was to quantify the relationship between bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly patients with ankle fractures compared with BMD in elderly patients without ankle fractures. A literature search was undertaken using relevant search terms. Articles were screened for suitability and data extracted where studies met inclusion criteria and were of sufficient quality. Data were combined using standard meta-analysis methods. Seven studies were used in the final analysis. A small-pooled effect size was found indicating the control group had increased BMD regardless of measurement used (95% confidence interval 0.09-0.58; I2 = 98.39%). Lower femoral neck BMD showed a small-pooled effect size (femoral neck 0.36; 95% confidence interval 0.00-0.73; I2 = 94.91%) with the ankle fracture cohort. This is the first meta-analysis to quantify the relationship between BMD and ankle fractures in the elderly population. Elderly ankle fractures showed a significant association with femoral neck BMD. The current data can be used in orthopedic clinics and Fracture Liaison Service programs to assign the appropriate subgroup of ankle fracture patients to investigative and treatment groups, assess fracture risk, and serve as an indication for secondary fracture prevention by stimulating an osteoporosis prevention workup. There may be a role for a team approach to fracture care including metabolic optimization.

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