Effect of immobilization on urine calcium excretion in orthopedic patients with pelvic fracture treated by skin traction

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Ali Derakhshan
Nima Derakhshan *
Hamid Namazi
Fariborz Ghaffarpasand
(*) Corresponding Author:
Nima Derakhshan | nima_med83@yahoo.com


Objectives: To determine the effects on urine calcium excretion of immobilization by skin traction in patients with pelvic fracture. Methods: In a prospective study, a consecutive series of patients with pelvic fracture treated by skin traction were enrolled. Serum (calcium, phosphorous, alkaline phosphatase, sodium, potassium, uric acid, BUN, creatinine) and fasting urine calcium, creatinine, sodium, potassium and uric acid were checked within 48 hours of hospitalization and at 7, 14 and 21 days of immobilization and then after 3 months of mobilization. Trends in changes of variables were recorded. Results: Fifty five patients were enrolled in this study; they were 45 (81.8%) males and 10 (18.2%) females with a mean age 19.4 ± 12.7 years. We found that serum levels of calcium (p = 0.004), phosphorous (p = 0.047) and alkaline phosphatase (p = 0.001) increased significantly during the 3 weeks of immobilization. In the same way, urine calcium/ urine creatinine ratio increased significantly in the study period (p = 0.004). No symptomatic renal stone formation was observed during the study period. Conclusions: Immobilization even in short term causes hypercalciuria in orthopedic patients. Although it is transient and improves with subsequent mobilization, it is needed to be considered specifically by the team caring for this group of patients.


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