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Purpose: Research has suggested that bone health may be impaired in patients with diabetic neuropathy. Here, we sought to evaluate the frequency of joint replacements in individuals with and without DN. Our work may allow for prophylaxis to prevent further deterioration in bone health and reduce the necessity of surgical procedures. We hypothesize that individuals with DN will have an increased frequency of joint replacement.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review, from 2019 through 2023, using the UTHealth Rio Grande Valley electronic medical records system. We evaluated odds ratios of fracture history in patients with DN, other diabetic complications, or diabetes (n=10,416). Multiple confounders were considered from patient characteristics including age, sex, ethnicity, and county of residence. Statistical tests were performed with a significance level of 0.05 to further evaluate our data.

Results: We observed that there was no significant difference in distribution of joint replacement across the patients with DN, other diabetic complications or diabetes. Ethnicity and sex were found to not significantly affect the odds of joint replacement. However, older individuals were significantly more likely to have joint replacement than younger individuals (p=0.0004).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that joint replacement frequence was not increased in diabetic populations in the Rio Grande Valley. Thus, we suggest that interventions to promote bone health should not be limited to specific diabetic patient groups. Further studies should aim to determine the exact mechanisms in which bone is affected by DN to allow for improved care of bone health in DN patients.

Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department


Available for download on Saturday, June 28, 2025