Article

Outcome of unstable distal radius fractures treated with open reduction and internal fixation versus external fixation.

Department of Orthopedics, University of the Philippines-Manila, Philippines.
Hand Surgery 01/2012; 17(2):173-9. DOI: 10.1142/S0218810412500165
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to compare the clinical results of unstable distal radius fractures treated with ORIF with plate and screws compared to EF. Patients with unstable distal radius fractures treated with ORIF or EF from January 2005 to December 2010 were reviewed in terms of the Modified Mayo Wrist Score, range of motion, pain, grip strength, and radiologic parameters. Results showed that there was no difference in the Modified Mayo Wrist Score between ORIF (17 patients) and EF (11 patients) (p = 0.07). The ORIF group had better wrist flexion, wrist extension, pronation and supination compared to the EF group (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in terms of radial and ulnar deviation, grip strength, pain and postoperative radiologic parameters (p < 0.05). Better wrist flexion, wrist extension and forearm rotation can be expected in ORIF compared to EF in the management of unstable distal radius fractures.

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    ABSTRACT: Various treatments are available for reducible unstable fractures of the distal radius, such as closed reduction combined with fixation by external fixator (EF), and rigid internal fixation using a locked volar plate (VP). Although there are studies comparing these methods, there is no conclusive evidence indicating which treatment is best. The hypothesis of this study is that surgical treatment with a VP is more effective than EF from the standpoint of functional outcome (patient-reported).Methods/design: The study is randomized clinical trial with parallel groups and a blinded evaluator and involves the surgical interventions EF and VP. Patients will be randomly assigned (assignment ratio 1:1) using sealed opaque envelopes. This trial will include consecutive adult patients with an acute (up to 15 days) displaced, unstable fracture of the distal end of the radius of type A2, A3, C1, C2 or C3 by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Osteosynthesefragen-Association for the Study of Internal Fixation classification and type II or type III by the IDEAL32 classification, without previous surgical treatments of the wrist. The surgical intervention assigned will be performed by three surgical specialists familiar with the techniques described. Evaluations will be performed at 2, and 8 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months, with the primary outcomes being measured by the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire and measurement of pain (Visual Analog Pain Scale and digital algometer). Secondary outcomes will include radiographic parameters, objective functional evaluation (goniometry and dynamometry), and the rate of complications and method failure according to the intention-to-treat principle. Final postoperative evaluations (6 and 12 months) will be performed by independent blinded evaluators. For the Student's t-test, a difference of 10 points in the DASH score, with a 95% confidence interval, a statistical power of 80%, and 20% sampling error results in 36 patients per group. Results from this study protocol will improve the current evidence regarding to the surgical treatment these fractures.Trial registration: ISCRTN09599740.
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