Wrist fractures linked to poor balance, greater fall risk

About 15 percent of women over age 50 sustain a wrist fracture, usually from taking a little tumble. But the injury is indicative of difficulties with balance, which could lead to a fractured hip later, warns a new study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Study participants who had experienced a wrist fracture had dynamic motion analysis (DMA) scores nearly 150 points higher than the non-injured control group, indicating compromised balance.

“Our study finds that older adults who sustain a wrist fracture are more likely to have poor balance compared to those who have not sustained this injury,” said lead study author Craig R. Louer, MD, an orthopedic surgery resident at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “These fractures should signal the need for an evaluation and possible treatment for balance deficits to decrease the risk of subsequent higher risk injuries, such as hip or spine fractures.”

Topics: Clinical