Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes declines in bone mineral density (BMD) and cross-sectional area (CSA), increasing fracture risk for people with SCI. This study measured BMD and CSA loss at several previously unexamined sites in people with SCI. Up to 35% of BMD was lost in the first year after SCI. BMD loss continued until about 4 years after SCI, eventually reaching 50% of the BMD value in non-SCI bone. CSA declined more slowly, eventually reaching 65% of the non-SCI value. Rehabilitation personnel should remember this during interventions like standing, muscle electrical stimulation, and aggressive stretching of spastic muscles.
Volume 49 Number 9, 2012
Pages 1365 — 1376
Last Reviewed or Updated Monday, January 7, 2013 10:00 AM