Background: Decreased physical performance has been associated with an increased risk of falls and fragility hip fractures. The purpose of our study was to compare physical performance measures and fall risk factors in middle-aged and elderly patients with recent distal radial fractures relative to age-matched control patients.
Methods: We prospectively recruited forty postmenopausal women over fifty years of age who sustained a distal radial fracture due to a fall and forty age-matched controls without a recent history of falls. We excluded those patients with cognitive impairment, neuromuscular diseases, or other chronic conditions affecting muscle function. We compared the two groups for the level of physical performance and other risk factors of a fall. Other known risk factors assessed were low body mass index; osteoarthritis; arrhythmia; depression; visual disturbance; hypotension; use of antihypertensive drugs, sedatives, hypnotics, or antidepressants; and use of four or more medications.
Results: There was no significant difference in the Short Physical Performance Battery summary score between the two groups. However, when patients with distal radial fracture were compared with control patients, significantly lower scores were observed for chair stand (p = 0.034) and grip strength (adjusted for hand dominance) (p = 0.038).
Conclusions: This study suggests that overall physical performance level is not different between women with a distal radial fracture and those without a distal radial fracture. Differences in chair stand test scores and grip strength may imply an early subtle decrease in physical performance level in patients with distal radial fracture.
Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 300 Gumi-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do, 463-707, South Korea. E-mail address for H.S. Gong: firstname.lastname@example.org
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University Hospital, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-744, South Korea