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Effect of prolonged bed rest on bone mineral.

date: 12/19/1970
author: Donaldson CL, Hulley SB, Vogel JM, Hattner RS, Bayers JH, McMillan DE.
publication: Metabolism. 1970 Dec; 19(12): 1071-84
pubmed_ID: 4321644
Bone mineral is lost during immobilization. This disuse osteopenia occurs locally in patients with fracture or hemiplegia and is generalized in quadriplegia.

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Bone loss and muscle atrophy in spinal cord injury: epidemiology, fracture prediction, and rehabilitation strategies.

date: 01/01/2006
author: Giangregorio L, McCartney N.
publication: J Spinal Cord Med. 2006;29(5):489-500.
pubmed_ID: 17274487

Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) often experience bone loss and muscle atrophy. Muscle atrophy can result in reduced metabolic rate and increase the risk of metabolic disorders. Sublesional osteoporosis predisposes individuals with SCI to an increased risk of low-trauma fracture. Fractures in people with SCI have been reported during transfers from bed to chair, and while being turned in bed. The bone loss and muscle atrophy that occur after SCI are substantial and may be influenced by factors such as completeness of injury or time post injury. A number of interventions, including standing, electrically stimulated cycling or resistance training, and walking exercises have been explored with the aim of reducing bone loss and/or increasing bone mass and muscle mass in individuals with SCI. Exercise with electrical stimulation appears to increase muscle mass and/or prevent atrophy, but studies investigating its effect on bone are conflicting. Several methodological limitations in exercise studies with individuals with SCI to date limit our ability to confirm the utility of exercise for improving skeletal status. The impact of standing or walking exercises on muscle and bone has not been well established. Future research should carefully consider the study design, skeletal measurement sites, and the measurement techniques used in order to facilitate sound conclusions.

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Skeletal adaptations to alterations in weight-bearing activity: a comparison of models of disuse osteoporosis.

date: 01/01/2001
author: Giangregorio L, Blimkie CJ.
publication: Sports Med. 2002;32(7):459-76.
pubmed_ID: 12015807

The removal of regular weight-bearing activity generates a skeletal adaptive response in both humans and animals, resulting in a loss of bone mineral. Human models of disuse osteoporosis, namely bed rest, spinal cord injury and exposure to micro-gravity demonstrate the negative calcium balance, alterations in biochemical markers of bone turnover and resultant loss of bone mineral in the lower limbs that occurs with reduced weight-bearing loading. The site-specific nature of the bone response is consistent in all models of disuse; however, the magnitude of the skeletal adaptive response may differ across models. It is important to understand the various manifestations of disuse osteoporosis, particularly when extrapolating knowledge gained from research using one model and applying it to another. In rats, hindlimb unloading and exposure to micro-gravity also result in a significant bone response. Bone mineral is lost, and changes in calcium metabolism and biochemical markers of bone turnover similar to humans are noted. Restoration of bone mineral that has been lost because of a period of reduced weight bearing may be restored upon return to normal activity; however, the recovery may not be complete and/or may take longer than the time course of the original bone loss. Fluid shear stress and altered cytokine activity may be mechanistic features of disuse osteoporosis. Current literature for the most common human and animal models of disuse osteoporosis has been reviewed, and the bone responses across models compared.

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Can Using Standers Increase Bone Density In Non-Ambulatory Children?

date: 10/01/2006
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.

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Bone measurements by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) in children with cerebral palsy

date: 12/01/2005
author: Binkley T, Johnson J, Vogel L, Kecskemethy H, Henderson R, Specker B.
publication: J Pediatr. 2005 Dec;147(6):791-6.
pubmed_ID: 16356433

OBJECTIVE: To use peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) to determine bone measurements in patients with cerebral palsy (CP) age 3 to 20 years and compare them with control subjects. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 13 (5 male) patients with CP, along with 2 sex- and age-matched controls for each, were included in a mixed-model analysis with matched pairs as random effects for pQCT bone measurements of the 20% distal tibia. RESULTS: Tibia length was similar in the CP and control groups (P = .57). Weight was marginally higher in the control group (P = .06). Cortical bone mineral content (BMC), area, thickness, polar strength-strain index (pSSI), and periosteal and endosteal circumferences were greater in the control group (P < .05 for all). Relationships between bone measurements and weight showed that cortical BMC, area, periosteal circumference, and pSSI were greater at higher weights in the control group (group-by-weight interaction, P < .05 for all). Cortical thickness was greater in the control group and was correlated with weight. Cortical volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) was greater with higher weights in the CP group (group-by-weight interaction, P = .03). CONCLUSIONS: Bone strength, as indicated by pSSI, is compromised in children with CP due to smaller and thinner bones, not due to lower cortical bone density.

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Bone-loading response varies with strain magnitude and cycle number.

date: 11/01/2001
author: Cullen DM, Smith RT, Akhter MP.
publication: J Appl Physiol. 2001 Nov;91(5):1971-6.
pubmed_ID: 11641332

Mechanical loading stimulates bone formation and regulates bone size, shape, and strength. It is recognized that strain magnitude, strain rate, and frequency are variables that explain bone stimulation. Early loading studies have shown that a low number (36) of cycles/day (cyc) induced maximal bone formation when strains were high (2,000 microepsilon) (Rubin CT and Lanyon LE. J Bone Joint Surg Am 66: 397-402, 1984). This study examines whether cycle number directly affects the bone response to loading and whether cycle number for activation of formation varies with load magnitude at low frequency. The adult rat tibiae were loaded in four-point bending at 25 (-800 microepsilon) or 30 N (-1,000 microepsilon) for 0, 40, 120, or 400 cyc at 2 Hz for 3 wk. Differences in periosteal and endocortical formation were examined by histomorphometry. Loading did not stimulate bone formation at 40 cyc. Compared with control tibiae, tibiae loaded at -800 microepsilon showed 2.8-fold greater periosteal bone formation rate at 400 cyc but no differences in endocortical formation. Tibiae loaded at -1,000 microepsilon and 120 or 400 cyc had 8- to 10-fold greater periosteal formation rate, 2- to 3-fold greater formation surface, and 1-fold greater endocortical formation surface than control. As applied load or strain magnitude decreased, the number of cyc required for activation of formation increased. We conclude that, at constant frequency, the number of cyc required to activate formation is dependent on strain and that, as number of cyc increases, the bone response increases.

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Nonoperative treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta: orthotic and mobility management.

date: 09/01/1981
author: Bleck EE.
publication: Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1981 Sep;(159):111-22.
pubmed_ID: 7285447

The problem of osteoporosis superimposed on the basic collagen defect of osteogenesis imperfecta has been approached by the use of plastic containment orthoses for the lower limbs, in addition to developmentally staged mobility devices that assist early standing and walking. The purpose of forcing early weight-bearing is to provide stress to the lower limb bones in order to minimize osteoporosis, prevent refracture and deformity, and curb subsequent immobilization osteoporosis, thus breaking a vicious cycle. Management goals are based upon adult needs for independence: efficiency in daily living activities and in mobility. These goals were reached in most of our patients via use of plastic orthoses, early weight-bearing, and electrically powered wheelchairs. Manual osteoclasis of the tibia followed by plastic orthoses utilizing principles of fluid compression to support fractured or structurally weak bones appeared successful at the time of follow-up. Intramedullary rodding of the femur was necessary in most of the 12 children with osteogenesis imperfecta congenita. Supplementary plastic orthoses have reduced the refracture rate in both the tibia and the femur. Social integration of the children was reflected by the fact that among the 12 OI congenita cases, ten were attending regular educational institutions. Twelve OI tarda children fared well, all attaining complete independence in daily living, mobility and ambulation. Seven of this group were treated with intramedullary rodding of the femur or tibia and with plastic orthoses. Five patients required no treatment.

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Considerations related to weight-bearing programs in children with developmental disabilities.

date: 01/01/1992
author: Stuberg WA.
publication: Phys Ther. 1992 Jan;72(1):35-40.
pubmed_ID: 1728047

Standing is a common modality used in the management of children with developmental disabilities. The purpose of this article is to examine the scientific basis for standing programs, with specific emphasis on the known effects of weight bearing on bone development. Guidelines for the use of standing programs are presented, and the supporting rationale is discussed.