Evaluation of Physical Performance Level as a Fall Risk Factor in Women with a Distal Radial Fracture
Young Jae Cho, MD; Hyun Sik Gong, MD; Cheol Ho Song, MD; Young Ho Lee, MD; Goo Hyun Baek, MD


Background: Decreased physical performance has been associated with an increased risk of falls and fragility hip fractures. The purpose of our study was to compare physical performance measures and fall risk factors in middle-aged and elderly patients with recent distal radial fractures relative to age-matched control patients.

Methods: We prospectively recruited forty postmenopausal women over fifty years of age who sustained a distal radial fracture due to a fall and forty age-matched controls without a recent history of falls. We excluded those patients with cognitive impairment, neuromuscular diseases, or other chronic conditions affecting muscle function. We compared the two groups for the level of physical performance and other risk factors of a fall. Other known risk factors assessed were low body mass index; osteoarthritis; arrhythmia; depression; visual disturbance; hypotension; use of antihypertensive drugs, sedatives, hypnotics, or antidepressants; and use of four or more medications.

Results: There was no significant difference in the Short Physical Performance Battery summary score between the two groups. However, when patients with distal radial fracture were compared with control patients, significantly lower scores were observed for chair stand (p = 0.034) and grip strength (adjusted for hand dominance) (p = 0.038).

Conclusions: This study suggests that overall physical performance level is not different between women with a distal radial fracture and those without a distal radial fracture. Differences in chair stand test scores and grip strength may imply an early subtle decrease in physical performance level in patients with distal radial fracture.

Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


  • A commentary by Leon S. Benson, MD, is linked to the online version of this article at jbjs.org.

  • Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, South Korea

  • Peer Review: This article was reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and one Deputy Editor, and it underwent blinded review by two or more outside experts. It was also reviewed by an expert in methodology and statistics. The Deputy Editor reviewed each revision of the article, and it underwent a final review by the Editor-in-Chief prior to publication. Final corrections and clarifications occurred during one or more exchanges between the author(s) and copyeditors.

  • Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

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