Bone Fractures 

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Broken lower leg. Courtesy

Broken lower leg. Courtesy

What Are Bone Fractures?

Bone fractures, or broken bones, are breaks in skeletal bones that occur usually from trauma to the bone itself or by a sudden violent contraction of muscle attached to it.

Q: Are there other causes of bone fractures besides trauma?

A: Fractures may occur spontaneously without trauma in certain pathological disorders such as osteoporosis, osteonecrosis, osteomalacia, osteomyelitis, syphilis, and cancer affecting the bone.

Bone fractures are a major public health problem with treatment costs in the billions of dollars and lead to subsequent disability for many patients.

Hip fractures, for example, may be complicated by infection at the surgical site, pneumonia, decubitus ulcer from lack of movement, and deep vein thrombosis making hip fractures the second leading cause of nursing home admissions in the USA.

Improvement of bone health and reducing risk factors such as smoking, caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea and sodas), and use of alcohol are key to preventing bone fractures.

Bone strength is easily measured by testing bone mineral density (BMD). BMD is evaluated by DEXA scan (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry).  DEXA at the femoral neck and lumbar spine is considered the gold standard to confirm the diagnosis of osteoporosis.  Results are expressed as T and Z scores. T scores compare the result with a 20 to 40 year old helathy person while  Z scores compare the result with persons in the same age group. Both are measured in standard deviations (SD).

According to WHO criteria (World Health Organization), a T-score of -1 SD or greater denotes normal bone, a T-score between −1 to −2.5 SD denotes osteopenia, and a T-score of −2.5 or more denotes osteoporosis.1

What Are Bone Fractures In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Pantaleoni S, Luchino M, Adriani A, Pellicano R, Stradella D, Ribaldone DG, Sapone N, Isaia GC, Di Stefano M, Astegiano M. Bone mineral density at diagnosis of celiac disease and after 1 year of gluten-free diet. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014;2014:173082. doi: 10.1155/2014/173082. []