Patella fractures have not traditionally been considered “fragility” fractures.
The purpose of this study was to examine the demographic patterns (age and gender distribution) and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of a cohort of patients with operative patella fractures.
Medical records were reviewed on all consecutive patients presenting to our institution with operative patella fractures from 2003 to 2009. Seventy-eight operative patella fractures (25 male, 53 female) were identified with a mean age of 58 years (range, 22–89 years).
The majority of patients with patella fractures in this series were females over the age of 50 years who sustained low-energy falls from a standing height or less. Twenty-four patients (80%) had vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency at the time of injury. For 68 patients (87%), the patella fracture represented their first fracture. Patients with known osteoporosis risk factors did not have higher rates of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency.
The age and gender distribution, as well as the prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency, of operative patella fractures, suggest that these patients likely have abnormal vitamin D levels and should undergo a metabolic bone work-up.