Atypical femur fractures (AFFs)
For about 10 years, reports have been emerging on a unique type of fracture of the femur (thigh) bone. The femur bone is the largest bone in the human body. As with all our bones, a healthy femur bone is designed not to break from a simple slip and fall from standing height; this is called ‘low-trauma’ or ‘low-impact’ event. Bones may break if they experience some impact like a car accident, sporting injury, fall from a ladder or down stairs; these are called ‘high-impact’ or ‘traumatic’ fractures.
People with osteoporosis have weaker bones and they sometimes break a bone from a low-trauma event, like slipping and falling. The ‘typical’ types of bones that break from a fall are wrists, spine bones (vertebra) and hip bones. Very recently, accounts of people presenting to emergency wards with broken femur bones from low impact falls starting being described.
As more of these stories were related, the medical and scientific community came together to study these atypical femur fractures in an attempt to shed some light on their causes and how to prevent them.
Our Current Studies
This study explores better ways to measure the chance of broken bones (fractures).
A national study examining whether clinical & genetic factors influence the outcomes of bone medications, and produce possible side effects such as atypical femur fractures.
Personalizing Osteoporosis Care
This study examines how various functional, imaging and questionnaire-type tools quantifying leg muscle, bone quality and physical function will help with future ankle fracture risk assessment and prevention.
The Ankle Fractures and Bone-Muscle Quality Study
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