Prediction of fracture healing at the distal radius

Andrés Arias Moreno

Distal radius fracture is one of the most common injuries and is the most experienced fracture in osteoporotic patients. This fracture can have different patterns according to how many structures are affected as well as if there is or not displacements between bony segments. The outcome of this fracture is not uniformly good regardless the treatment instituted. In regular daily practice, fracture healing is evaluated by clinical judgment of the physician in combination with the results of conventional X-ray. However, these evaluations do not provide detailed information with regard to the status of healing process and consolidation of fractures. Also, based on such images it is not possible to predict the healing course. For this reason, in most cases the patient will receive the treatment only for a fixed period of time. Nowadays there is an available image tool such as Xtreme CT (high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography, HR-pQCT), which has capability to obtain with high detail the 3D trabecular bone microarchitecture and that, associated with micro-FE Analysis, can reliably determine the mechanical properties and behavior of this structure as well as provide a basis for develop tools that can predict bone healing process at micro-level. In the other hand, there are previous studies about bone cell phenotype where cells work as mechano-transducers and, according to this issue, earlier models that can predict bone healing process has been developed. For a more efficient treatment strategy that is tailored to the patient and taking into account the above aspects, a better evaluation and prediction of the distal radius fracture healing process would be needed.

The aim of the project “Prediction of distal radius fracture healing”  is to develop a clinical tool that can predict the healing course and healing status of distal radius fractures based on early post-injury scans of the bone microarchitecture in three dimensions and at bone micro-level.