Testing postural control among various osteoporotic patient groups: A literature review

M.H. de Groot, H. van der Jagt-Willems, J.P.C.M. van Campen, W.F. Lems, C.J. Lamoth

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Osteoporosis can cause vertebral fractures, which might lead to a flexed posture, impaired postural control and consequently increased fall risk. Therefore, the aim of the present review was to examine whether postural control of patients with osteoporosis, vertebral fractures, thoracic kyphosis and flexed posture is affected. Furthermore, instruments measuring postural control were evaluated and examined for sensitivity and easy clinical use. Until February 2011, electronic databases were systematically searched for cross-sectional studies. Methodological quality was assessed with a modified Downs & Black scale. Of the 518 found studies, 18 studies were included. Postural control was generally affected for patients with vertebral fractures, thoracic kyphosis and flexed posture. Patients with osteoporosis had impaired postural control when assessed with computerized instruments. Easy performance-based tests did not show any impairments. There is evidence for an impaired postural control in all patient groups included. Impaired postural control is an important risk factor for falls. Functional performance tests are not sensitive and specific enough to detect affected postural control in patients with osteoporosis. To detect impaired postural control among osteoporotic patients and to obtain more insight into the underlying mechanisms of postural control, computerized instruments are recommended, such as easy-to-use ambulant motion-sensing (accelerometry) technology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-585
JournalGeriatrics & gerontology international
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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