Fractures after Stroke
Fractures are a serious complication after stroke. Among patients with femoral neck fractures, a large subgroup have had a previous stroke. This study aimed to investigate the incidence of fractures after stroke. Included in the study were 1139 patients consecutively admitted for acute stroke. Fractures occurring from stroke onset until the end of the study or death were registered retrospectively. Hip fracture incidence was compared with corresponding rates from the general population. Patients were followed up for a total of 4132 patient-years (median 2.9 years). There were 154 fractures in 120 patients and median time between the onset of stroke and the first fracture was 24 months. Women had significantly more fractures than men (χ2 = 15.6; p < 0.001). In patients with paresis most of the fractures affected the paretic side (χ2 = 22.5; p < 0.001) and 84% of the fractures were cause by falls. Hip fracture was the most frequent fracture and the incidence was 2–4 times higher in stroke patients compared with the reference population. Fractures are thus a common complication after stroke. They are usually caused by falls and affect the paretic side. It is necessary to focus on the prevention of post-stroke fractures, including the prevention of both falls and osteoporosis.
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