The effect of probiotic treatment on elderly patients with distal radius fracture: a prospective double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised clinical trial

Benef Microbes. 2016 Nov 30;7(5):631-637. doi: 10.3920/BM2016.0067. Epub 2016 Sep 16.


Probiotic treatment has been shown to improve bone formation, increase bone mass density and prevent bone loss. We aimed to assess the effect of probiotic treatment on functional recovery in elderly patients with a distal radius fracture. A total of 417 elderly patients with an acute distal radius fracture were enrolled in this double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. They were randomised to receive skimmed milk containing either a commercial probiotic (Lactobacillus casei Shirota) or placebo daily for a period of 6 months after the fracture. Treatment outcomes were the DASH (disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand) score, pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) score, active range of motion and grip strength, all of which were measured on a monthly basis. Throughout the duration of the study, DASH score, pain, CRPS score, wrist flexion and grip strength of patients receiving probiotics exhibited a significantly faster pace of improvement than those on placebo, with treatment outcomes of patients receiving Lactobacillus casei Shirota at month 4 at comparable levels with those of patients receiving placebo at month 6. In elderly patients with a fracture of the distal radius, administration of the probiotic could greatly accelerating the healing process.

Keywords: Lactobacillus casei Shirota; complex regional pain syndrome; disabilities of the arm shoulder and hand; distal radius fracture; probiotics.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arm Injuries / drug therapy
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hand Injuries / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus casei*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radius Fractures / drug therapy*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / drug effects
  • Recovery of Function / drug effects
  • Shoulder Injuries / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome