Introduction: The association between vitamin D status and fracture characteristics in children remains ambiguous. We hypothesized that vitamin D deficient or insufficient children would have an increased risk of forearm fractures severe enough to require surgical management.
Methods: One hundred children with low-energy forearm fractures were prospectively enrolled from a single hospital. Each participant answered a questionnaire focusing on the risk factors for vitamin D deficiency. Fractures were categorized as requiring nonsurgical or surgical management. Vitamin D status was based on the measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration obtained during the clinic visit and compared between the two fracture groups.
Results: The cohort exhibited a mean age of 9.8 ± 3.2 years (range: 3-15 years), comprising 65 (65%) men and 35 (35%) women. Overall, mean 25(OH)D was 27.5 ± 8.3 ng/mL. Using the Endocrine Society guidelines, 21% of patients were categorized as "vitamin D deficient" (25(OH)D ≤ 20 ng/mL) and 49% as "vitamin D insufficient" (25(OH)D: 21 to 29 ng/mL). Stratification by intervention revealed a mean 25(OH)D of 23.3 ± 8.8 ng/mL in the surgical group (n = 12) and 28.1 ± 8.1 in the nonsurgical group (n = 88) (P = 0.057). Fifty percent of the surgical group were "vitamin D deficient" compared with 17% of the nonsurgical group (P = 0.017). The relative risk of requiring surgical treatment in children with forearm fracture and vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D < 20 ng/mL) was 3.8. 25(OH)D level, negatively correlated with body mass index (r = -0.21, P = 0.044); 9 surgical patients were overweight or obese (as defined by the criteria of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 25(OH)D level was significantly lower in non-Caucasians compared with Caucasians (26.0 ± 7.2 versus 32.5 ± 9.9 ng/mL; P = 0.0008).
Discussion: Vitamin D deficiency is common in children with forearm fractures and may be a contributing risk factor for forearm fractures requiring surgical management in children.
Conclusion: Vitamin D deficiency and inefficiency are common in children with low energy forearm fractures, especially in obese children and in fractures requiring surgical treatment.
J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev (2020) 4(8):e2000150-5
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