Bone Cement Doesn't Augment Volar Locking Plate Fixation

Unstable distal radial fracture treatment outcomes similar with or without bone cement

MONDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Injection of calcium phosphate bone cement offers no additional benefit over volar locking plate fixation in elderly patients with unstable distal radial fractures, according to a study published in the April 6 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Jae Kwang Kim, M.D., Ph.D., from the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues assessed 48 patients (mean age, 73 years) with a total of 50 unstable distal radial fractures to determine whether the use of calcium phosphate bone cement in addition to volar locking plate fixation offers any benefit over volar locking plate on its own. Patients were randomly assigned to volar locking plate fixation alone, or in conjunction with a calcium phosphate bone cement injection. Clinical assessments at three and 12 months post surgery included grip strength; wrist pain and motion; modified Mayo wrist scores; and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores. Patients underwent radiographic evaluations immediately after and 12 months post surgery. Reduction adequacy was measured by radial inclination, volar angulation, and ulnar variance.

The investigators found that there were no significant differences in clinical outcomes at three or 12 month follow-up between the two groups. Intergroup radiographic outcomes were not significantly different. There were also no complication-related differences or nonunions.

"We were unable to demonstrate any outcome differences between patients treated with volar locking plate fixation alone and those treated with volar locking plate fixation plus augmentation with calcium phosphate bone cement," the authors write.

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