Bone density loss after spinal cord injury: elite paraplegic basketball players vs. paraplegic sedentary persons

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Apr;83(4):279-83. doi: 10.1097/01.phm.0000118036.20170.6c.


Objective: To compare the bone mineral density of elite paraplegic basketball players with the values obtained from their paraplegic sedentary counterparts.

Design: A total of 17 male paraplegic basketball players and 17 male paraplegic sedentary persons were included in the study. Bone mineral densities of the distal third of radius of the dominant arm, L2-L4 spine, and trochanters, Ward's triangles, and the femoral necks of both hips were measured.

Results: The densities of trochanters, Ward's triangles, and the femoral necks were found to be decreased in both groups, with no significant difference between them. The densities of lumbar and radial regions were found to be increased in both groups. Radial density was significantly higher in paraplegic basketball players than in paraplegic sedentary patients, whereas the groups were not significantly different for lumbar density.

Conclusions: Wheelchair basketball in spinal cord-injured patients was associated with greater bone density in distal radius compared with sedentary paraplegics. However, it was not associated with greater density below the injury level.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Basketball / physiology*
  • Bone Demineralization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Demineralization, Pathologic / etiology*
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Femur / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Paraplegia / etiology
  • Paraplegia / physiopathology*
  • Radius / physiology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology