Bio-resorbable versus metal implants in wrist fractures: A randomised trial

Department of Surgery and Traumatology, Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis, postbus 5011, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands.
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.6). 05/2008; 128(12):1413-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00402-008-0573-2
Source: PubMed


Distal radius fractures are often surgically treated if insufficient reduction has been achieved or after conservative treatment has failed. Treatment using metal implants often demands a secondary operation to remove the implant. A bio-resorbable implant (in this study the Reunite osteosynthesis plate by Biomet Inc) should obviate the need for a secondary operation with equal functional results.
Thirty-two patients with a distal radius fracture were assigned to treatment with either a bio-resorbable implant (N = 19) or a metal implant (N = 13). Both groups received the same postoperative care and were followed for 52 weeks in the outpatient clinic. The hypothesis of this study was a decrease in re-operation rate in the experimental group with equal functional results.
Five out of 19 patients treated with the Reunite plate were re-operated and four out of 13 treated with metal implants needed a secondary operation. In both implants, equal functional results in Range of Motion and DASH scores were found.
There were no significant differences between the experimental and control group with respect to re-operations, DASH scores and Range of Motion. Because of the higher initial costs and equal results, the use of bio-resorbable implants must be considered carefully.

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