Relatively little is known about outcomes following clinical osteoporotic fractures at nonhip, nonvertebral skeletal sites. To address this issue, we prospectively assessed post-fracture disability at multiple skeletal sites in a population of 909 older (aged 55-81 years), community-dwelling women with low femoral neck bone mineral density who had experienced a fracture while enrolled in the Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT). FIT is a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial that was designed to determine the effect of alendronate on fracture incidence, and the current study was conducted as a secondary analysis of FIT data. Following incident clinical fractures, FIT participants were followed prospectively for assessment of site-specific, fracture-related disability. Measures of disability were self-reported days hospitalized or confined to bed because of the fracture ('bed days') and days of reduced usual activities because of the fracture ('limited activity days'). Of fracture types evaluated, those of the hip resulted in the highest percentage of subjects with any bed days or limited activity days after fracture (94% with any bed days and 100% with any limited activity days), though the mean number of bed days and limited activity days appeared highest after lumbar vertebral fractures (25.8 mean bed days and 158.5 mean limited activity days). Substantial disability also was reported after fractures of thoracic vertebrae, humerus, distal forearm, ankle and foot. Within fracture types, post-fracture disability was highly variable, ranging from none to more than 6 months.
- Postmenopausal osteoporosis