J Hand Surg [Br]. 2003 Oct;28(5):422-6.
YOUNG CF, NANU AM, CHECKETTS RG.
From the Department of Orthopaedics, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Kayll Road, Sunderland, UK
Eighty-five patients were reviewed 7 years after prospective randomization to bridging external fixation or plaster immobilization for treatment of a Colles’ type distal radial fracture. The Gartland and Werley score showed that most patients in each group had an excellent or good outcome and patient satisfaction was comparable and high in both groups. The fixator group had significantly less radial shortening (P<0.05). Despite a high level of radiographic malunion (50%) overall function, range of movement and activities of daily living were not limited. Twenty-five per cent of patients had minor radiological signs of post-traumatic arthritis although only one patient was symptomatic. We conclude that, in the long term, external fixation of distal radius fractures does not confer an improved outcome when compared to plaster immobilization.
PMID: 12954250 [PubMed – in process]