Radial Fracture Type Doesn't Impact Volar Plate Outcome

Similar outcomes for extra-articular, single sagittal intra-articular distal radial fractures

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Open reduction and internal fixation of extra-articular and single sagittal intra-articular fractures of the distal radius using volar locking plates have similar outcomes, according to a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

J. Sebastiaan Souer, M.D., Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues investigated whether wrist motion and function scores following open reduction and internal fixation of a distal radial fracture, using a volar locking plate, differed between patients with extra-articular (74 participants) versus single sagittal intra-articular fractures (37 participants). The participants were evaluated six, 12, and 24 months after surgery for motion; grip strength; pain; Gartland and Werley score; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) score; and Short Form-36 score.

The investigators found no significant differences between the two groups with regard to motion, grip strength, Gartland and Werley score, or DASH score at any time point. However, at six months after surgery, patients with a single intra-articular fracture showed a trend toward less pronation, and less grip strength compared to the opposite arm (95 versus 98 percent and 76 versus 81 percent, respectively). At one year after surgery, that group also showed a trend toward a smaller flexion-extension arc (118 versus 128 degrees).

"Intra-articular distal radial fractures with a single sagittal intra-articular fracture line treated with open reduction and volar plate fixation have outcomes comparable with those of extra-articular fractures," the authors write.

One or more of the study authors disclosed financial ties to an entity in the biomedical arena.

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