THURSDAY, July 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Older patients with low physical function and lower lean body mass (LBM) may be at risk for greater decline in tibia bone properties during the first year after hip fracture, according to a study published online June 9 in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Tuuli H. Suominen, from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, and colleagues examined the associations of physical function and LBM with loss of bone density and strength in older people recovering from a hip fracture. Analysis included one-year follow-up for 81 community-dwelling men and women (>60 years) operated for a hip fracture.

The researchers found that the mean change in distal tibia total volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) and compressive strength index (BSI) in both legs ranged from −0.9 to −2.5 percent. The change in midtibia cortical vBMD and bending strength-strain index (SSI) ranged from −0.5 to −2.1 percent. Greater decline in distal tibia total vBMD in both legs was predicted by a lower Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score, difficulty in walking outdoors and lower LBM. There was also an association between lower SPPB score and difficulty in walking outdoors with a greater decline in distal tibia BSI in both legs. A lower SPPB score and lower LBM were associated with greater decline in SSI on the fractured side at the midshaft site.

“Acknowledgement of the risk factors could assist in developing interventions and care to promote bone health and overall recovery,” the authors write.

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