Transient osteoporosis of pregnancy

Injury. 2012 Aug;43(8):1237-41. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.03.009. Epub 2012 Mar 30.


Transient osteoporosis of pregnancy (TOP) is a rare yet perhaps under-reported condition that has affected otherwise healthy pregnancies throughout the world. The condition presents suddenly in the third trimester of a usually uneventful pregnancy and progressively immobilizes the mother. Radiographic studies detect drastic loss of bone mass, elevated rates of turnover in the bone, and oedema in the affected portion. Weakness of the bone can lead to fractures during delivery and other complications for the mother. Then, within weeks of labour, symptoms and radiological findings resolve. Aetiology is currently unknown, although neural, vascular, haematological, endocrine, nutrient-deficiency, and other etiologies have been proposed. Several treatments have also been explored, including simple bed rest, steroids, bisphosphonates, calcitonin, induced termination of pregnancy, and surgical intervention. The orthopedist plays an essential role in monitoring the condition (and potential complications) as well as ensuring satisfactory outcomes for both the mother and newborn.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Density*
  • Calcitonin / therapeutic use
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Edema / diagnostic imaging*
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteoporosis / physiopathology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Radiography


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Calcitonin