Bone microarchitecture and distal radius fracture pattern complexity

Anne M. Daniels (Corresponding author), Luuk M.A. Theelen, Caroline E. Wyers, Heinrich M.J. Janzing, Bert van Rietbergen, Lisanne Vranken, Robert Y. van der Velde, Piet P.M.M. Geusens, Sjoerd Kaarsemaker, Martijn Poeze, Joop P. van den Bergh

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Distal radius fractures (DRFs) occur in various complexity patterns among patients differing in age, gender, and bone mineral density (BMD). Our aim was to investigate the association of patient characteristics, BMD, bone microarchitecture, and bone strength with the pattern complexity of DRFs. In this study, 251 patients aged 50-90 years with a radiologically confirmed DRF who attended the Fracture Liaison Service of VieCuri Medical Centre, the Netherlands, between November 2013 and June 2016 were included. In all patients fracture risk factors and underling metabolic disorders were evaluated and BMD measurement with vertebral fractures assessment by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed. Radiographs of all DRFs were reviewed by two independent investigators to assess fracture pattern complexity according to the AO/OTA classification in extra-articular (A), partially articular (B), and complete articular (C) fractures. For this study, patients with A and C fractures were compared. Seventy-one patients were additionally assessed by high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography. Compared to group A, mean age, the proportion of males, and current smokers were higher in group C, but BMD and prevalent vertebral fractures were not different. In univariate analyses, age, male gender, trabecular area, volumetric BMD (vBMD), and stiffness were associated with type C fractures. In multivariate analyses, only male gender (odds ratio (OR) 8.48 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.75-41.18, p = 0.008]) and age (OR 1.11 [95% CI 1.03-1.19, p = 0.007]) were significantly associated with DRF pattern complexity. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that age and gender, but not body mass index, BMD, bone microarchitecture, or strength were associated with pattern complexity of DRFs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1690-1697
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number8
Early online date12 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • bone microstructure
  • distal radius fracture (DRF)
  • fracture pattern complexity
  • high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT)
  • micro-finite element analyses (micro-FEA)


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