How many of you have fallen and thrown out your hands to catch yourself? It’s probably happened to most us, and may be one reason that in the U.S., 1 in 10 broken bones is a broken wrist.
But wrist fractures aren’t just due to accidents. Wrist fractures that occur from a fall from standing height are generally a sign of bone weakness and are the most common osteoporotic fractures.
Having seen my grandmother experience first a wrist fracture, then a collarbone fracture, and finally a hip fracture, I suspected that wrist fractures — common in middle-aged and older women — are an important sign that attention should be given to strengthening bone.
Wrist fractures signal increased fracture risk
And there’s a recent study out that confirms this suspicion. In a 2015 study from the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (Crandall et al., 2015), the study authors looked at long-term data from more than 160,000 women and found that women who’d previously had a wrist fracture were at significantly higher risk of other fractures during the almost 12 years of follow-up — regardless of other osteoporosis risk factors.
The big news . . . the younger the woman was when she fractured her wrist, the greater her relative risk of having another fracture later on.
I like to say, make your first fracture your last fracture. If you’ve fractured a wrist in the past, be aware that this fracture is your “canary in the coal mine” telling you to pay attention to your bones. You can take the Better Bones Profile to assess the health of your bones and your potential risk of fracture.
Crandall, C. J., Hovey, K. M., Cauley, J. A., Andrews, C. A., Curtis, J. R., Wactawski-Wende, J., Wright, N. C., Li, W., and LeBoff, M. S. Wrist fracture and risk of subsequent fractures: Findings from the Women’s Health Initiative Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2015;30:2086–2095.