[Treatment type C fracture of the distal radius with locking compression plate and external fixators].

ABSTRACT To compare efficacy of unilateral external fixators and locking compression plates in treating type C fractures of the distal radius.
From January 2009 to June 2010, 76 patients with distal radius fracture were treated with LCP and external fixators, 54 patients were followed up. Among them, 29 cases were male and 25 cases were female with an average age of 45.31 (ranged, 24 to 68) years old. There were 29 patients in LCP group. According to AO classification, 8 cases were type C1, 7 cases were type C2 and 14 cases were type C3. There were 25 cases in external fixators group. According to AO classification, 6 cases were type C1, 8 cases were type C2 and 11 cases were type C3. Radial height, volar tilt and radial inclination were compared, advanced Gartland-Werley scoring were used to assessed wrist joint function after 6 and 12 months' following up.
Two cases were suffered from nail infection in external fixators group. Fifty-four patients were followed up from 12 to 24 months with an average of 21.3 months. Radial height was (9.60 +/- 0.72) mm, volar tilt was (9.55 +/- 0.80) degrees and radial inclination was (21.40 +/- 0.78) degrees in LCP group,while those were (9.40 +/- 0.70) mm, (9.47 +/- 0.71) degrees and (21.20 +/- 0.73) degrees in external fixtors group, and with no statistical significance (P>0.05). Advanced Gartland-Werley score after 6 months' following up was 3.31 +/- 1.17 in LCP group, 5.56 +/- 1.58 in external fixtors group, and with significant difference (t=-5.99,P<0.05); after 12 months' following up, advanced Gartland-Werley score was respectively 2.66 +/- 1.01 and 3.08 +/- 1.00, but with no statistical meaning (t=-1.55, P>0.05).
LCP and external fixtors can receive good curative effects in treating type C distal radius fracture, and LCP can obtain obviously short-term efficacy, while there is no significant difference between two groups in long-term results. For serious distal radius comminuted fracture which unable to plate internal fixation, external fixators is a better choice.