Effectiveness of early rehabilitation for vertebral compression fractures: a retrospective cohort study

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

Key Points

  1. On the day of discharge, participants of the early intervention group had more significant improvements and higher scores on the Barthel Index, a measure of activities of daily living.
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In the United States, more than 50% of adults 50 years and older have low bone density, which increases their risk of hip and vertebral compression fracture (1). An increased risk of vertebral fracture is concerning, particularly when examining the health consequences associated with vertebral fractures. These consequences include impaired mobility, mortality, pain, sleep disturbance, deformity, depression, fear of falling and further fracture, and reduced quality of life (2).

Due to the benefits of exercise, it is recommended that women with osteoporosis or fragility fractures perform a regular resistance-based regimen incorporating weight-bearing exercises (3). However, little is known regarding the impact of early rehabilitation post-acute vertebral compression fracture. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of early rehabilitation on activities of daily living (ADLs) among patients with an acute vertebral compression fracture.

In the United States, more than 50% of adults 50 years and older have low bone density.
It is important that individuals with an acute fragility fracture receive physical therapy soon after the fracture occurs.


Study design: Retrospective cohort study using a hospital-based database.

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