Dr. Clay SpitlerDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery Director of Clinical Research and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs Clay Spitler, M.D., recently published “The Prevalence of Metabolic and Endocrine Disturbances on Fracture Nonunion” in the Endocrine Practice journal.

 The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of metabolic disturbance in all fracture nonunion cases and identify the most common endocrine abnormalities seen using a simple screening algorithm.

Nonunion fractures are those that have been given time to heal on their own but have not healed or have not healed properly.

Researchers found that 42 percent of patients with nonunion had an undiagnosed metabolic laboratory abnormality. For study authors, this meant that there is a relatively high prevalence of metabolic disturbance in patients with nonunion. The metabolic disturbances included abnormal values found in Vitamin D, calcium, and thyroid-stimulating hormone.

Authors conclude that a metabolic screening for all nonunion patients–not only those without a mechanical or infectious cause– could be warranted in future medical cases. Identification of a metabolic disturbance would allow physicians to tailor treatment to the patient with a nonunion fracture.

Endocrine Practice, American Association of Clinical Endocrinology’s official journal, is peer-reviewed, published twelve times a year, and contains original articles, review articles, commentaries, editorials, and visual vignettes.

Study authors included:

  • Patrick F. Bergin, M.D.
  • David L. Rothberg, M.D.
  • Clay A. Spitler, M.D.
  • Bopha Chrea, M.D.
  • Daniel T.Miles, M.D.
  • Ugur Yener, M.D.
  • Eldrin Bhanat, M.D., MPH
  • Hunter G. Frederiksen, B.S.
  • Matt L. Graves, M.D.

To read the entire study and its methods, click here.