The goal of our systematic literature search was to prove whether the experimentally shown influence of osteoporosis on fracture fixation could be confirmed in clinical studies. Despite significant effects in several studies, this is not supported by pooled data due to lack of accurate osteoporosis assessment and complication definitions.Introduction
The fact that osteoporosis causes fractures is well-known; the assumption that it aggravates their orthopaedic treatment has not been proven. The goal of our systematic literature search was to find out whether the experimentally proven influence of osteoporosis on fracture fixation could be confirmed in clinical studies.Methods
A systematic electronic database search was performed identifying articles that evaluated complications after fracture fixation among patients suspected of having osteoporosis as measured by BMD or surrogates including Singh index or risk factors. To determine complications risks (relative risk within 95% confidence interval) data were pooled across studies, weighted by sample size and stratified by treatment type.Results
Ten studies out of 77 randomized controlled trials (51 hip, 23 distal radius and three proximal humerus studies) and three systematic reviews finally met eligibility criteria. Despite significant differences of the relative complication risk between osteoporotic and non-osteoporotic patients in several studies, this could not be proven in the pooled data.Conclusions
In contrast to biomechanical evidence that local osteoporosis affects anchorage of implants, this could not be reproduced in clinical studies, due to the lack of accurate osteoporosis assessment, missing complication definitions and heterogeneous inclusion criteria in these studies. Prospective studies are required that address specifically the correlation between local bone status and the risk of fixation failure.