Adult forearm fractures account for 1–2% of all fractures of the limbs. The main objective of this retrospective multicenter study was to evaluate pre- and postoperative complications of forearm fractures. The secondary objective was to evaluate functional and radiological results of plate osteosynthesis for these fractures.
Material and methods
Between January 2008 and March 2014, 131 forearm fractures were reviewed retrospectively. Fractures were classified preoperatively according to the AO classification. Clinical outcomes were classified into four categories according to the Tschnerne and Oestern classification. Pre- and postoperative complications were sought systematically.
Before surgery, 12 patients had neurological impairment (9%). At the last follow-up, nine patients had persistent neurological disorders (6.9%). Union of forearm fractures was obtained in 122 patients at 4.6 months on average (±2.6). Nine patients with nonunion were observed (6.9%) and five patients had radioulnar synostosis (3.8%).
The frequency of neurological complications concomitant to forearm fractures is noteworthy. Similar cases with essentially irritative neurological disease have been reported in the literature, in particular for the ulnar nerve. Fracture nonunion is a relatively common complication: between 2 and 10% of cases depending on the study.
Level of evidence
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Keywords : Forearm fracture, Complications, Neurological disorders, Nonunion, Synostosis, Iterative fractures