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Subtrochanteric fractures after long-term treatment with bisphosphonates: a European Society on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis, and International Osteoporosis Foundation Working Group Report

Rizzoli, R., Akesson, K., Bouxsein, M., Kanis, J.A., Napoli, N., Papapoulos, S., Reginster, J.Y. and Cooper, C. (2011) Subtrochanteric fractures after long-term treatment with bisphosphonates: a European Society on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis, and International Osteoporosis Foundation Working Group Report Osteoporosis International, 22, (2), pp. 373-390. (doi:10.1007/s00198-010-1453-5). (PMID:21085935).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Summary: This paper reviews the evidence for an association between atypical subtrochanteric fractures and long-term bisphosphonate use. Clinical case reports/reviews and case–control studies report this association, but retrospective phase III trial analyses show no increased risk. Bisphosphonate use may be associated with atypical subtrochanteric fractures, but the case is yet unproven.

Introduction: A Working Group of the European Society on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis and the International Osteoporosis Foundation has reviewed the evidence for a causal association between subtrochanteric fractures and long-term treatment with bisphosphonates, with the aim of identifying areas for further research and providing recommendations for physicians.

Methods: A PubMed search of literature from 1994 to May 2010 was performed using key search terms, and articles pertinent to subtrochanteric fractures following bisphosphonate use were analysed.

Results: Several clinical case reports and case reviews report a possible association between atypical fractures at the subtrochanteric region of the femur in bisphosphonate-treated patients. Common features of these ‘atypical’ fractures include prodromal pain, occurrence with minimal/no trauma, a thickened diaphyseal cortex and transverse fracture pattern. Some small case–control studies report the same association, but a large register-based study and retrospective analyses of phase III trials of bisphosphonates do not show an increased risk of subtrochanteric fractures with bisphosphonate use. The number of atypical subtrochanteric fractures in association with bisphosphonates is an estimated one per 1,000 per year. It is recommended that physicians remain vigilant in assessing their patients treated with bisphosphonates for the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis and advise patients of the potential risks.

Conclusions: Bisphosphonate use may be associated with atypical subtrochanteric fractures, but the case is unproven and requires further research. Were the case to be proven, the risk–benefit ratio still remains favourable for use of bisphosphonates to prevent fractures.

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More information

Published date: January 2011
Keywords: atypical, bisphosphonate, femur, low trauma, osteoporosis, subtrochanteric

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 172587
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/172587
ISSN: 0937-941X
PURE UUID: 280131df-bc04-4ec4-b7c3-9fbecd2d2d59
ORCID for C. Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jan 2011 11:49
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:13

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Contributors

Author: R. Rizzoli
Author: K. Akesson
Author: M. Bouxsein
Author: J.A. Kanis
Author: N. Napoli
Author: S. Papapoulos
Author: J.Y. Reginster
Author: C. Cooper ORCID iD

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