What is the future of patient-specific vertebral fracture prediction?

Hugo Giambini, Bradford L. Currier, Michael J. Yaszemski, Ahmad Nassr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper aims to introduce a few alternative methodologies for prediction of vertebral fractures, the most common type being fragility fracture in the elderly. Current methods, such as DXA, for diagnosing osteoporosis and predicting the risk of vertebral failure, are often not accurate thereby preventing those patients at risk from receiving adequate treatment. Robust fracture prediction models for vertebral fracture risk should not only include BMD, as measured by DXA, but should incorporate a wide range of factors including bone geometry, bone mineral distribution within the vertebral body, daily living activities, and spine musculature. One promising technique is finite element modeling, which has been developed over the past several decades and implements clinical imaging, such as quantitative computed tomography (QCT), and engineering fundamentals to more accurately predict the risk of fracture. Other imaging tools that assess bone mineral distribution and structure at the microscopic level include micro-CT or high-resolution peripheral QCT (HR-pQCT). These newer techniques hold the promise of more accurate diagnosis of osteoporosis and those at risk for vertebral insufficiency fractures before they occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-71
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Spine Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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