Incidence and treatment of fractures in thalassemia

James D. Michelson, Alan Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Thalassemia major, a disorder of hemoglobin synthesis, contributes to skeletal deformities, marked osteopenia, and frequent fractures. Hypertransfusion therapy in the last 20 years has prolonged the life expectancy of thalassemics and decreased the orthopaedic manifestations of the disease. This study examines the incidence and treatment of fractures in hypertransfused thalassemics in whom the hemoglobin is kept above 8 g/d1. Over a 5-year period, there were eight fractures in 38 patients, which yields an incidence that is ~70% above the fracture rate in the general population. With the exception of one patient, all of the fractures healed in the expected time utilizing nonoperative treatment. The results of this study indicate that, although thalassemics are at moderately high risk for sustaining fractures, they respond well to standard casting methods. However, the iron overload found in thalassemia can deplete the body of vitamin C, which can subsequently retard fracture healing. Attention must, therefore, be paid to replenishing vitamin C very cautiously in order to avoid this complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-32
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Trauma
Volume2
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Thalassemia
Ascorbic Acid
Incidence
Hemoglobins
Fracture Healing
Iron Overload
Metabolic Bone Diseases
beta-Thalassemia
Life Expectancy
Orthopedics
Cohort Studies
Therapeutics
Population

Keywords

  • Fractures
  • Thalassemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Michelson, J. D., & Cohen, A. (1988). Incidence and treatment of fractures in thalassemia. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, 2(1), 29-32.

Incidence and treatment of fractures in thalassemia. / Michelson, James D.; Cohen, Alan.

In: Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1988, p. 29-32.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Michelson, JD & Cohen, A 1988, 'Incidence and treatment of fractures in thalassemia', Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 29-32.
Michelson, James D. ; Cohen, Alan. / Incidence and treatment of fractures in thalassemia. In: Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma. 1988 ; Vol. 2, No. 1. pp. 29-32.
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