Uncoupling of bone turnover following hip replacement.
Studies using total hip replacement surgery as a model for acute hip injury have shown that bone mineral density of the proximal femur decreases 6-18% in the 6 months following surgery. To examine the acute biochemical mechanism associated with bone loss, we measured two indicators of bone formation [serum osteocalcin (OC), serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP)], as well as two markers for bone resorption [urine and serum N-telopeptide cross-linked collagen type 1 (NTx)], in 20 patients (10 men, 10 women, mean age 59.4 years) prior to hip replacement and 1-2 days postsurgery. The average OC value (ng/ml) decreased by 57.3% following surgery (7.5 +/- 4.3 to 3.2 +/- 1.1, P <0.001), and the average BSAP level (U/L) decreased by 27.6% (19.9 +/- 5.6 to 14.4 +/- 3.7, P <0.001). In contrast, levels of urine NTx (nmol BCE/mmol Cr) did not change significantly after the surgery (73.9 +/- 47.2 to 70.1 +/- 29.7). In addition, there was no change in serum NTx (nmol BCE) after surgery (11.8 +/- 2.3 to 11.8 +/- 3.0). Six months after surgery, bone mass had not changed significantly from baseline. These findings suggest that there is an uncoupling of bone turnover following hip replacement surgery which is characterized by significant reductions in bone formation without compensatory decreases in bone resorption, potentially leading to bone loss. Longer periods of follow-up are needed to assess long-term bone mass changes.
Whitson, H; DeMarco, D; Reilly, D; Murphy, S; Yett, HS; Mattingly, D; Greenspan, SL
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