RESEARCH ARTICLE

Is there a Consensus in the Management of Distal Radial Fractures?

The Open Orthopaedics Journal 5 Nov 2009 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874325000903010096

Abstract

This unique postal survey was setup to assess the agreement on treatment options in displaced distal radius fractures and whether or not there existed a consensus amongst the surgeons contacted. With this in view we contacted 244 surgeons and 166 completed answers were received.

We chose two common examples of displaced distal radius fractures. Case one was a 38 year old teacher with a closed, displaced extra-articular fracture (Frykman type II) of her left non-dominant hand and case two was a 42 year old carer, with a closed, displaced intra-articular fracture (Frykman type VII) of her right dominant wrist. There was a questionnaire included with these radiographs.

In the first case, 82 (49%) surgeons favoured MUA + K-wiring, 47 (28%) favoured volar plating and 14 (8%) an external fixator. In the second case, 28 (17%) surgeons favoured MUA + K-wiring, 53 (32%) advocated volar plating and 33 (20%) an external fixator. Furthermore surgeons with specialist Upper limb interest were more likely to apply a volar plate (63% in either case) whilst the surgeons with general or other areas of expertise (18% in first case and 23% for second case).

In conclusion there is no consensus among the Orthopaedic surgeons in treating displaced distal radial fractures. A multicentered randomized clinical trial would help elucidate the best treatment options.

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