[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proximal row carpectomy (PRC) is a popular procedure for the treatment of wrist arthritis; however, the long-term clinical outcomes of this procedure are not well-characterized. The purpose of this study was to evaluate long-term results with PRC and to identify factors that may improve clinical outcomes.
A retrospective study was performed on all patients who underwent proximal row carpectomy between January 1967 and January 1992. Medical records and available radiographs were reviewed. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand, and Patient Rated Wrist Exam, as well as hand motion diagrams were sent to all surviving patients. The contralateral extremity was used as a control. Data was analyzed using multivariant analysis and a Student's test.
Eighty-one patients underwent PRC. Average age at the time of surgery was 41 years. Average follow-up was 19.8 years. Sixty-one patients responded to the questionnaires. On final follow-up, wrist motion and grip strength were not significantly different from preoperative values. Radiographic follow-up beyond 2 years revealed joint narrowing and arthritic changes within the radiocapitate joint. Forty-six patients (74%) were not satisfied with the results of their surgery due to persistent pain or inability to return to previous occupational activities. Fifty-two patients required daily pain medication for wrist pain. Twelve patients had undergone a wrist arthrodesis.
Post-operative motion and grip strength values following PRC appear to remain stable over time. Surgical failure rates with conversion to wrist fusion occurred early within the post-operative follow-up. Many patients continued to complain of pain requiring daily medication and were unable to return to manual labor type jobs. The results of this study suggest that long-term patient satisfaction following PRC can be poor and the surgeon may wish to consider alternative treatment options for younger patients and those with high-demand jobs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The importance of the stabilizing effect of the distal interosseous membrane on the distal radioulnar joint, especially in patients with a distal oblique bundle, has been described. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the stability of the distal radioulnar joint after an ulnar shortening osteotomy and to quantify longitudinal resistance to ulnar shortening when the osteotomy was proximal or distal to the ulnar attachment of the distal interosseous membrane. These relationships were characterized for forearms with or without a distal oblique bundle.
Ten fresh-frozen cadavers were used. A transverse osteotomy and ulnar shortening was performed proximal (proximal shortening) and distal (distal shortening) to the ulnar attachment of the distal interosseous membrane. Distal radioulnar joint laxity was evaluated as the volar and dorsal displacements of the radius relative to the fixed ulna with 20 N of applied force. Testing was performed under controlled 1-mm increments of ulnar shortening up to 4 mm, with the forearm in neutral alignment, 60° of pronation, and 60° of supination. Resistance to ulnar shortening was quantified as the slope of the load-displacement curve obtained by displacing the distal ulnar segment proximally.
In proximal shortening, significantly greater stability of the distal radioulnar joint was obtained with even 1 mm of shortening compared with the control, whereas distal shortening demonstrated significant improvement in stability of the distal radioulnar joint only after shortening of ≥4 mm in all rotational positions. Significantly greater stability of the distal radioulnar joint was achieved with proximal shortening than with distal shortening and in specimens with a distal oblique bundle than in those without a distal oblique bundle. The longitudinal resistance to ulnar shortening was significantly greater in proximal shortening than in distal shortening. The stiffness in proximal shortening was not affected by the presence of a distal oblique bundle in the distal interosseous membrane.
Ulnar shortening with the osteotomy carried out proximal to the attachment of the distal interosseous membrane had a more favorable effect on stability of the distal radioulnar joint compared with distal osteotomy, especially in the presence of a distal oblique bundle.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 11/2011; 93(21):2022-30. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) disorders are uncommon but important causes of ulnar-sided wrist pain and disability. Fluoroscopically guided injections may be performed to diagnose or treat DRUJ-related pain or as part of a diagnostic arthrogram. Sonographic guidance may provide a favorable alternative to fluoroscopic guidance for distal DRUJ injections. This report describes and validates a sonographically guided technique for DRUJ injections in an unembalmed cadaveric model. An experienced clinician used sonographic guidance to inject diluted colored latex into the DRUJs of 10 unembalmed cadaveric specimens. Subsequent dissection by a fellowship-trained hand surgeon confirmed accurate injections in all 10 specimens. Two cases of ulnocarpal flow, indicative of triangular fibrocartilage injury, were noted during injection and subsequently confirmed during dissection. Clinicians should consider using sonographic guidance to perform DRUJ injections when clinically indicated. Further research should explore the efficacy of sonographically guided DRUJ injections to treat patients with painful DRUJ syndromes or to evaluate the triangular fibrocartilage complex in patients with ulnar wrist pain syndromes.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 11/2011; 30(11):1587-92. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the accuracies of sonographically guided and palpation guided scaphotrapeziotrapezoid (STT) joint injections in a cadaveric model.
A clinician with 6 years of experience performing sonographically guided procedures injected 1.0 mL of a diluted latex solution into the STT joints of 20 unembalmed cadaveric wrist specimens using a palmar approach. At a minimum of 24 hours after injection, an experienced clinician specializing in hand care completed palpation guided injections in the same specimens using a dorsal approach and 1 mL of a different-colored latex. A fellowship-trained hand surgeon blinded to the injection technique then dissected each specimen to assess injection accuracy. Injections were graded as accurate if the colored latex was found in the STT joint, whereas inaccurate injections resulted in no latex being found in the joint.
All sonographically guided injections were accurate (100%; 95% confidence interval, 81%-100%), whereas only 80% of palpation guided injections were accurate (95% confidence interval, 61%-99%). Sonographically guided injections were significantly more accurate than palpation guided injections, as determined by the ability to deliver latex into the joint (P < .05).
Sonographic guidance can be used to inject the STT joint with a high degree of accuracy and is more accurate than palpation guidance within the limits of this study design. Clinicians should consider using sonographic guidance to perform STT joint injections when precise intra-articular placement is desired. Further clinical investigation examining the role of sonographically guided STT joint injections in the treatment of patients with radial wrist pain syndromes is warranted.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 11/2011; 30(11):1509-15. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether sonography can identify the distal posterior interosseous nerve at the wrist.
On the basis of previous anatomic descriptions, high-resolution musculoskeletal sonography was used in an attempt to identify the distal posterior interosseous nerve in the wrists of 20 unembalmed cadaveric specimens (11 male and 9 female; ages 54-98 years). High-frequency scanning (17-5 MHz) of the fourth dorsal extensor compartment revealed a small (1-3 mm) hypoechoic structure located on the compartment floor, presumed to represent the posterior interosseous nerve. Electronic calipers measured the distance between Lister's tubercle and this structure, as well as the structure's radial-ulnar width and volar-dorsal height. The presumed posterior interosseous nerves of 10 specimens were then injected with diluted colored latex using sonographic guidance. Subsequent dissection definitively identified the sonographically visualized and injected structure.
Dissection revealed latex within the posterior interosseous nerve in all 10 injected specimens, thus confirming that the sonographically visualized structure represented the distal posterior interosseous nerve. The nerve was identified sonographically in all 20 examined specimens, was located an average of 4.88 mm (range, 2.10-10.0 mm) ulnar to Lister's tubercle, and had an average width and height of 2.35 mm (range, 1.20-3.50 mm) and 1.01 mm (range, 0.80-1.40 mm), respectively.
High-resolution sonography can reliably identify the distal posterior interosseous nerve within the fourth dorsal extensor compartment. Clinicians should consider formal evaluation of the posterior interosseous nerve in patients presenting with dorsal wrist pain syndromes. Future investigations should explore the potential role of sonographically guided percutaneous procedures directed at the posterior interosseous nerve.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 09/2011; 30(9):1233-9. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The distal interosseous membrane (DIOM) is a secondary stabilizer of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) and has a considerably variable morphology. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether innate DRUJ stability is influenced by the anatomic variation of the DIOM.
Ten fresh-frozen cadaver upper extremities were used in this study. The humerus and the ulna were affixed rigidly to a custom-made apparatus, with the elbow in 90° of flexion. Testing was performed by translating the radius in volar and dorsal directions relative to the ulna, with a 20-N applied force in neutral forearm alignment, 60° pronation, and 60° supination. Total translation of the radius was measured as DRUJ laxity. After the experiment, we investigated anatomic variation of the DIOM, especially regarding the existence of the distal oblique bundle (DOB), which is a notably thick fiber within the DIOM. We compared the DRUJ stability between the groups with and without the DOB.
The DOB was found in 4 of 10 specimens. The group with a DOB demonstrated a significantly greater DRUJ stability in the neutral position than the group without a DOB. In pronated and supinated forearm positions, no significant difference in DRUJ stability was obtained between the groups with and without a DOB.
Innate DRUJ stability in the neutral forearm position was greater in the group with a DOB than in those without a DOB.
This study suggests that considerable variation exists in DRUJ laxity and that it partially depends on anatomical variations of the DIOM.
The Journal of hand surgery 08/2011; 36(10):1626-30. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To retrospectively analyze the reasons for reoperations following primary nonconstrained proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint arthroplasty and review clinical outcomes in this group of patients with 1 or more reoperations.
Between 2001 and 2009, 294 nonconstrained (203 pyrocarbon and 91 metal-plastic) PIP joint replacements were performed in our institution. A total of 76 fingers (59 patients) required reoperation (50 pyrocarbon and 26 metal-plastic). There were 40 women and 19 men with an average age of 51 years (range, 19-83 y). Primary diagnoses included osteoarthritis in 35, posttraumatic arthritis in 24, and inflammatory arthritis in 17 patients. There were 21 index, 27 middle, 18 ring, and 10 small fingers. The average number of reoperations per PIP joint was 1.6 (range, 1-4). A total of 45 joints had 1 reoperation, 19 had 2, 11 had 3, and 1 had 4.
Extensor mechanism dysfunction was the most common reason for reoperation; it involved 51 of 76 fingers and was associated with Chamay or tendon-reflecting surgical approaches. Additional etiologies included component loosening in 17, collateral ligament failure in 10, and volar plate contracture in 8 cases. Inflammatory arthritis was associated with collateral ligament failure. Six fingers were eventually amputated, 9 had PIP joint arthrodeses, and 2 had resection arthroplasties. The arthrodesis and amputation rates correlated with the increased number of reoperations per finger. Clinically, most patients had no or mild pain at the most recent follow-up, and the PIP joint range-of-motion was not significantly different from preoperative values. Pain levels improved with longer follow-up.
Reoperations following primary nonconstrained PIP joint arthroplasties are common. Extensor mechanism dysfunction was the most common reason for reoperation. The average reoperation rate was 1.6, and arthrodesis and amputation are associated with an increasing number of operations. Overall clinical outcomes demonstrated no significant change in range of motion, and most patients had mild or no pain.
The Journal of hand surgery 07/2011; 36(9):1460-6. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A septic joint is a cartilage-threatening emergency requiring prompt treatment. The purpose of this study was to examine outcomes of septic arthritis of the metacarpophalangeal and interphalangeal joints.
We performed a retrospective review of patients diagnosed with joint infection between 1976 and 2008. The end point included the number of arthrodeses and amputations performed.
Septic joints were identified in 110 patients. All patients had incision and irrigation and debridement (I and D) of the joint. The infection was successfully treated in 83 of 110 patients. The majority of septic joints (73 of 83 patients) treated successfully with I and D had only a penetrating joint injury. Forty-eight of these patients required more than one I and D to eradicate the infection. The remaining 27 of 110 patients required either arthrodesis (13 patients) or amputation (14 patients) despite I and D. Among the 13 patients requiring arthrodesis, postoperative infection (7 patients) accounted for the majority of septic joints. Of the 14 patients requiring amputation, penetrating joint injury accounted for the majority of septic joints. Overall, those patients requiring more than 3 I and D procedures were at higher risk of arthrodesis or amputation. Increasing comorbidities correlated with worsening outcomes.
Pyarthrosis can often be treated successfully with 1 or more I and D procedures. Despite multiple I and D procedures, 27 patients required either arthrodesis or amputation. The time to diagnosis and treatment, the number of I and D procedures, patient comorbidities, and postoperative infection following non-joint surgery are major factors influencing outcome.
The Journal of hand surgery 06/2011; 36(8):1273-81. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wrist involvement in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is common. Within 2 years of diagnosis, more than half of patients will have wrist pain, and more than 90% will have wrist disease by 10 years. Although wrist involvement is generally thought to be less disabling than RA of the fingers and hand, it can be a significant cause of pain and disability. Severe disease with bony destruction and synovitis in the wrist can also result in soft-tissue problems including tendon ruptures. In addition to musculoskeletal involvement, systemic manifestations of RA can occur. Felty syndrome can result in a low white blood count and splenomegaly in association with RA. New generation, disease-modifying pharmacologic agents offer promise in controlling the disease progression. Surgical treatments for the diseased wrist are aimed at relieving pain and restoring function. Common procedures include: synovectomy and tenosynovectomy, tendon reconstruction, distal ulnar resection and/or distal radioulnar joint reconstruction, partial and full wrist arthrodesis, and total wrist arthroplasty.
Hand clinics 02/2011; 27(1):57-72. · 0.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To review the rate of fusion, complications, and subjective outcome measures of proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis after failed implant arthroplasty.
We conducted a retrospective review identifying patients from 1990 to 2009 who underwent proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis for implant arthroplasty failure. All types of implants were included. We reviewed clinical notes and radiographs identifying patient history, implant type, revisions before arthrodesis, method of arthrodesis, rate of union, time to union, and complications. We used the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire to assess patients' function and perceived clinical outcome.
A total of 13 joints in 8 patients (6 female, 2 male) identified with an average clinical follow-up of 6.5 years (range, 1.0-12.3 y) were available for study. The average time from joint replacement to salvage for all implant types was 9.3 years (range, 1.6-32.2 y). Eight of the 13 fingers achieved union. The average time to union was 5.8 months (range, 1-11 mo). Eight of 13 fingers underwent removal of K-wires, tension band, or both. Excluding hardware-related problems, there were 4 additional complications in 4 patients.
Salvage of failed proximal interphalangeal joint arthroplasty remains a challenging clinical problem. Although achieving solid fusion with arthrodesis is not completely reliable or without complication, patients' subjective and functional outcomes demonstrate fair to good results.
The Journal of hand surgery 02/2011; 36(2):259-64. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess the safety of sonographically guided percutaneous finger and thumb first annular (A1) pulley releases performed using needle and hook knife techniques in an unembalmed cadaveric model.
A single operator completed 50 (40 fingers and 10 thumbs) sonographically guided percutaneous A1 pulley releases in unembalmed cadavers using previously described needle and hook knife techniques and simulated local anesthesia. Half of the fingers and thumbs were completed with each technique. An experienced observer blinded to the technique dissected each specimen and assessed for neurovascular, flexor tendon, and A2 pulley injury. Completeness of release was also recorded as a secondary outcome.
No neurovascular or A2 pulley injury occurred in any digit, regardless of technique. No significant flexor tendon injury was seen in any digit, although minor surface scratches were visualized in 3 cases (6%; 2 knife and 1 needle). The hook knife technique was significantly more likely to result in a complete pulley release compared to the needle technique (22 of 25 [88%] versus 8 of 25 [32%]; P < .001).
Sonographically guided percutaneous A1 pulley releases can be performed safely using previously described needle and hook knife techniques. The safety margin for thumb releases is less than that for finger releases, particularly with respect to the radial digital nerve. These cadaveric data support recently published clinical investigations recommending consideration of sonographically guided percutaneous A1 pulley release in the management of patients with a disabling trigger finger.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 11/2010; 29(11):1531-42. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ulnar impaction syndrome is a common source of ulnar-sided wrist pain. It is a degenerative condition that occurs secondary to excessive load across the ulnocarpal joint, resulting in a spectrum of pathologic changes and symptoms. It may occur in any wrist but is usually associated with positive ulnar variance, whether congenital or acquired. The diagnosis of ulnar impaction syndrome is made by clinical examination and is supported by radiographic studies. Surgery is indicated if nonoperative treatment fails. Although a number of alternatives exist, the 2 primary surgical options are ulnar-shortening osteotomy or partial resection of the distal dome of the ulna (wafer procedure). This article discusses the etiology of ulnar impaction syndrome, and its diagnosis and treatment.
Hand clinics 11/2010; 26(4):549-57. · 0.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fractures of the distal end of the radius represent a common and varied set of injuries. Management of unstable fractures of the distal radius continues to evolve. External fixation with or without secondary augmentation has been used with success in the treatment of these difficult injuries for some time. When considering the best management option for a particular patient and injury, it is important to understand the indications and varied techniques that are available. External fixation continues to be used with frequency and can result in good functional outcomes. It is important for surgeons who are managing these injuries to have a good understanding of external fixation and its proper applications.
Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics 04/2009; 19(2):60–64.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent outcome studies suggest that soft tissue injuries to the distal radioulnar joint and triangular fibrocartilage complex are common after distal radius fractures. These injuries, if undiagnosed, may lead to significant pain, instability, and arthrosis. Early diagnosis and treatment of distal radioulnar joint instability is a key component to optimizing outcomes in patients with distal radius fractures.
Operative Techniques in Orthopaedics 04/2009; 19(2):107–118.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pyrolytic carbon implants have been successfully used in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints. Recently, pyrolytic carbon hemiarthroplasties have been proposed for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the trapezial-metacarpal (TM) joint of the thumb. We wished to review our short-term outcomes for this device in the treatment of TM arthritis.
Fifty-four arthritic TM joints in 49 patients, with a mean age of 59 years, were treated with use of a pyrolytic carbon hemiarthroplasty procedure. Underlying diagnoses included osteoarthritis in 44 thumbs, rheumatoid arthritis in 8 thumbs, psoriatic arthritis in 1 thumb, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in 1 thumb. The patients were followed up clinically as well as radiologically for an average of 22 months postoperatively.
The overall 22-month survival rate excluding scaphotrapezio-trapezoidal joint arthritis was 80% according to a Kaplan-Meier analysis. Ten metacarpal subluxations were observed. Seven of these cases were salvaged by increasing the depth of the trapezial cup. A total of 15 reoperations were required in this cohort. No complications were seen in the patients with inflammatory arthritis. Thirty-five patients were pain free at the latest follow-up, and 6 reported mild to occasional pain with repetitive activities. The overall satisfaction rate was 40 of 49 patients (81%). Grip strength recovered to 86% of that of the contralateral side. Apposition key and opposition pinch strength improved to 92% and 95%, respectively, of those of the contralateral hand.
Pyrolytic carbon thumb arthroplasty may prove to be an acceptable option for the treatment of TM, although a high complication rate was observed in this early cohort, with many cases of subluxation attributed to the creation of a too shallow trapezial cup. Further comparative studies are warranted.
The Journal of hand surgery 03/2009; 34(2):205-12. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reported outcomes of trapeziometacarpal (TM) arthrodesis have been contradictory. The purpose of this paper is to review the long-term results of TM arthrodesis for arthritis with respect to clinical outcomes, union, development of adjacent joint arthritis, and complications.
A retrospective review of TM arthrodeses performed between 1970 and 2003 was undertaken. Among a total of 241 arthrodeses performed, 126 thumbs in 114 patients (79 women, 35 men) treated for osteoarthritis were available for follow-up evaluation. Pre- and postoperative clinical and radiographic data were reviewed. The average age was 57 years (range 32-77). The dominant hand was involved in 76 cases. Supplemental bone graft was used in 90 thumbs. Preoperative appositional (key) pinch, oppositional (tip) pinch, and grip strengths were 3.0 kg, 2.7 kg, and 14 kg, respectively. The average pain score on a scale of 0-10 was 6.6 (range 4-10). The average follow-up was 11.2 years (range 3-28 years).
There were 17 nonunions. No correlation existed between the incidence of nonunion and the use of supplemental bone graft. Nine of 17 thumbs had re-operation, including revision arthrodesis (6) and interposition or suspensionplasty (3). The appositional pinch, oppositional pinch, and grip strengths improved to 5.9 kg, 5.4 kg, and 23 kg, respectively (p < .01). The average pain score improved to 0.4 (p < .01). Radiographic progression of scaphotrapeziotrapezoid arthritis occurred in 39 cases; however, only 8 of these were symptomatic. Development of metacarpophalangeal arthritis was noted in 16 thumbs; none have been clinically relevant.
For most patients TM arthrodesis reduces pain, improves function and results in excellent patient satisfaction. Despite the development of metacarpophalangeal and scaphotrapeziotrapezoid joint arthritis, intervention for these joints was rarely warranted.
The Journal of hand surgery 01/2009; 34(1):20-6. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although fractures of the fifth metacarpal neck (boxer's fractures) are common, their treatment can be problematic. A description of a technique utilizing traction reduction is presented in this paper. The records and radiographs of 59 patients who underwent reduction using longitudinal traction and subsequent immobilization in a specially molded cast were retrospectively reviewed. On average, 80% of initial fracture angulation in the sagittal plane was corrected, and only 1 degrees of this correction was lost at the discontinuation of casting (3-4 weeks). We have found this technique to be highly effective in the treatment of boxer's fractures. Advantages of this treatment include its efficacy, ease, and improved patient tolerance over other casting techniques.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute calcific tendinitis (ACT) is a relatively uncommon disorder of the hand and wrist. ACT is a well-known condition of the shoulder, but it often goes unrecognized when occurring in the hand or wrist. The overall lack of familiarity along with the non-specific symptoms associated with ACT frequently leads to misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis. We report a case of acute calcific tendinitis occurring in the carpal tunnel which is a rare presentation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vascularized bone grafts (VBGs) are techniques in the management of certain types of carpal pathology. VBGs have traditionally been advocated for conditions including delayed and nonunion of fractures and avascular necrosis. The most common indications for VBG have been for scaphoid nonunion, lunatomalacia (Kienböck's disease), and osteonecrosis of the scaphoid (Preiser's disease). Advantages over NVBG have been established. VBGs provide improved blood flow, osteocyte preservation, and accelerated healing rates. Local pedicled VBGs are the most commonly used methods. They are technically less demanding than are free VBGs and are associated with less morbidity. Commonly used donor grafts arise from the dorsal vasculature of the wrist and include the 1,2 intercompartmental supraretinacular artery (1,2 ICSRA), the 2,3 ICSRA, the fourth extensor compartment artery (fourth ECA), and the fifth ECA. A 4 + 5 ECA combination graft has been described to provide a longer pedicle. In managing osteonecrosis, most surgeons would agree that VBG should be reserved for carpal bones with an intact cartilaginous shell and no collapse. In treating scaphoid pathology, indications for VBG include fractures/nonunions with proximal pole avascular necrosis and/or small proximal pole fragments.
Seminars in Plastic Surgery 08/2008; 22(3):213-27.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We retrospectively compared the outcomes of open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with volar locking plate versus standard external fixation and percutaneous pinning in treating similar unstable distal radius fractures with a minimum 2-year follow-up.
The ORIF group included 41 patients with an average follow-up of 29 months. The external fixation group comprised 14 patients with an average follow-up of 33 months. Average age at presentation was 45 years in the external fixation group and 48 years in the ORIF group. The male/female ratios were 16:25 among the ORIF group and 6:8 in the external fixation group. The two groups were compared for clinical and functional outcomes measured by the disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) score. Pain scores were similar. Radiographic measurements were also evaluated between groups.
Final ranges of motion and grip strengths were similar between the two groups. The mean DASH score of the locked volar plate group was 9 compared to 23 for the external fixation group. Radiographically, volar tilt and radial length were significantly better in the patients treated with ORIF. The ORIF group required less therapy visits. No complications occurred in the locked volar plate group whereas two patients had pin tract infections and one had prolonged finger stiffness in the external fixation group.
Locked volar plating compares favorably to external fixation and pinning for amenable fracture patterns. Whereas grip and range-of-motion data were similar, DASH scores, frequency of rehabilitation, and some radiographic parameters were superior in patients treated with ORIF.