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Bench-to-bedside strategies for osteoporotic fracture: From osteoimmunology to mechanosensation

Xie Y#1Zhang L#1Xiong Q#2Gao Y3Ge W3Tang P1.

Bone Res. 2019 Aug 15;7:25. doi: 10.1038/s41413-019-0066-7. eCollection 2019.




Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone mass and strength, rendering people prone to osteoporotic fractures caused by low-energy forces. The primary treatment strategy for osteoporotic fractures is surgery; however, the compromised and comminuted bones in osteoporotic fracture sites are not conducive to optimum reduction and rigid fixation. In addition, these patients always exhibit accompanying aging-related disorders, including high inflammatory status, decreased mechanical loading and abnormal skeletal metabolism, which are disadvantages for fracture healing around sites that have undergone orthopedic procedures. Since the incidence of osteoporosis is expected to increase worldwide, orthopedic surgeons should pay more attention to comprehensive strategies for improving the poor prognosis of osteoporotic fractures. Herein, we highlight the molecular basis of osteoimmunology and bone mechanosensation in different healing phases of elderly osteoporotic fractures, guiding perioperative management to alleviate the unfavorable effects of insufficient mechanical loading, high inflammatory levels and pathogen infection. The well-informed pharmacologic and surgical intervention, including treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs and sufficient application of antibiotics, as well as bench-to-bedside strategies for bone augmentation and hardware selection, should be made according to a comprehensive understanding of bone biomechanical properties in addition to the remodeling status of osteoporotic bones, which is necessary for creating proper biological and mechanical environments for bone union and remodeling. Multidisciplinary collaboration will facilitate the improvement of overall osteoporotic care and reduction of secondary fracture incidence.