author: Katz, Danielle,MD, Snyder, Bryan MD, PhD, Dodek, Anton MD, Holm, Ingrid MD Miller, Claire BS
publication: Abstract as published in the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) 2006 Conference Proceedings
Purpose: Pathologic fractures are a significant source of morbidity for non-ambulatory children with neuromuscular dysfunction. We hypothesize that increasing weight-bearing in non-ambulatory children will increase bone material density (BMD) and decrease fracture risk. The aim of this pilot study was to demonstrate that non-ambulatory children participating in a standing program for at least two hours a day will experience an increase in BMD in the weight bearing bones. We also evaluate the reliability of measuring BMD at the calcaneous (weight bearing bones) and distal forearm (non-weight bearing bone) using peripheral DXA in delayed, non-ambulatory children.
Methods: After receiving IRB approval, 12 non-ambulatory, quadriplegic children (ages 12-21) consented to participate in a 2 hour/day, 5 day/week standing program. A history, orthopaedic exam, determination of bone age, laboratory tests for metabolic bone disease and BMD at the calcaneal tuberosity and distal forearm metaphyses were obtained. Compliance with the prescribed standing program was monitored for 6 months. BMD was measured using peripheral DXA at baseline and every 3 months. Using Jan. 2003 BMD data as a baseline, the ratio of change in BMD at the calcaneous and distal forearm was evaluated as a function of percent compliance with standing program.
Results: Intrarater reliability for BMD measured by peripheral DXA was good: Pearson correlation for the calcaneous = 0.90 (p=0.01) and for the forearm = 0.96 (p=0.01). Paired t test between two sets of data measured at each site on the same day were not different for calcaneous (t=0.92, df=15, p=0.37) or forearm (t=0.05, df=15, p=0.96). Compliance with the standing program was inconsistent. No patients were 100% compliant. Patients tended to stand longer at the initiation of the study Jan.-April (Jan vs Apr, p = 0.018; Jan vs Jul, p = 0.89; Apr vs Jul, p = 0.063). Compliance (%) was positively correlated (r = -0.62) with increased calcaneous BMD measured in April. This is in contrast to forearm BMD measured at the same time; which was negatively correlated (r = -0.44) with standing compliance. This support the notion that standing preferentially increases bone mass in the weight-bearing bones. However the BMD at the calcaneous measured in July was decreased, perhaps reflecting the decreased compliance the with standing program over the succeeding interval April-July.
Conclusion: It is feasible to have non-ambulatory children participate in a rigorous standing program. The weight bearing ?dose? affects BMD at the calcaneous but the benefit appears to be transient if the intensive standing program is not sustained.
Significance: The intensive use of standers (10 hours/wk) may have a beneficial effect on BMD of weight bearing bones in non-ambulatory children.