Effect of Obesity on Bone Healing After Foot and Ankle Long Bone Fractures

Jakob C. Thorud, Spencer Mortensen, Jennifer L. Thorud, Naohiro Shibuya, Yolanda Munoz Maldonado, Daniel C. Jupiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


As obesity has become more common, fractures in the obese population have become more frequent. Concern exists regarding alterations in bone health and healing in obese patients. A matched case-control study was performed at 1 institution to evaluate whether an association exists between nonunion and a high body mass index in metatarsal and ankle fractures. A total of 48 patients with nonunion were identified, and control patients matched 2 to 1 (n = 96) were selected. The control patients were matched for age, sex, and fracture type. No association was identified between nonunion and the continuous body mass index (p = .23) or morbid obesity, with a body mass index of ≥40 kg/m2 (p = .51). However, the results from both univariate and multivariate analysis suggested that patients with a current alcohol problem or a history of an alcohol problem might have a greater risk of nonunion. The odds ratio of a patient with a history of alcohol use experiencing nonunion was 2.7 (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 6.2). Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • BMI
  • alcohol
  • body mass index
  • fracture healing
  • metatarsal fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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