Study design: Prospective cohort study.
Objective: To elucidate the prognostic factors indicating reduced activities of daily living (ADL) at the time of the 6-month follow-up after osteoporotic vertebral fracture (OVF).
Summary of background data: OVF has severe effects on ADL and quality of life (QOL) in elderly patients and leads to long-term deteriorations in physical condition. Many patients recover ADL with acceleration of bony union and spinal stability, but some experience impaired ADL even months after fracture. Identifying factors predicting reduced ADL after OVF may prove valuable.
Methods: Subjects in this prospective study comprised 310 OVF patients from 25 institutes. All patients were treated conservatively without surgery. Pain, ADL, QOL, and other factors were evaluated on enrollment and at 6 months. ADL were evaluated using the criteria of the Japanese long-term care insurance system to evaluate the degree of independence. We defined reduced ADL as a reduction of at least single grade at 6 months after fracture and investigated factors predicting reduced ADL after OVF, using uni- and multivariate regression analysis.
Results: ADL were reduced at 6 months after OVF in 66 of 310 patients (21.3%). In univariate analysis, age more than 75 years (P = 0.044), female sex (P = 0.041), 2 or more previous spine fractures (P = 0.009), presence of middle column injury (P = 0.021), and lack of regular exercise before fracture (P = 0.001) were significantly associated with reduced ADL. In multivariate analysis, presence of middle column injury (odds ratio [OR], 2.26; P = 0.022) and lack of regular exercise before fracture (OR, 2.49; P = 0.030) were significantly associated with reduced ADL.
Conclusion: These results identified presence of middle column injury of the vertebral body and lack of regular exercise before fracture as prognostic factors for reduced ADL. With clarification and validation, these risk factors may provide crucial tools for determining subsequent OVF treatments. Patients showing these prognostic factors should be observed carefully and treated with more intensive treatment options.