Although fragment specific fixation has proved to be an effective treatment regime, it has not been established how successfully this treatment could be performed using fluoroscopy and what the added value of arthroscopy could be. Establish gap and step-off distances after in intra-articular distal radius fractures that have been treated with fragment specific fixation while using fluoroscopy.
Forty-four patients with an intra-articular distal radius fracture were treated with fragment specific fixation while using fluoroscopy.
After the treatment of the intra-articular distal radius fracture with fragment specific fixation and the use of fluoroscopy, but before the completion of the surgical intervention, all gap, and step-off distances were determined by using arthroscopy. In addition, the joint was checked for any other wrist pathologies.
Arthroscopy after the surgical intervention showed that in 37 patients no gap distances could be detected, while in six patients a gap distance of≤2mm was found and in one patient, a gap distance of 3mm. Similarly, arthroscopy revealed no step-off distances in 33 patients, while in 11 patients a step-off distance of≤2mm was found. Although additional wrist pathologies were found in 48% of our population, only one patient needed surgical intervention. Three months after the surgical intervention wrist flexion was 41±10°, wrist extension 51±17°, ulnar deviation 19±10°, radial deviation 32±12° while patients could pronate and supinate their wrist to 85±5° and 74±20°, respectively.
Intra-articular distal radius fractures can be treated successfully with fragment specific fixation and the use of fluoroscopy. As almost all gap and step-off distances could be reduced to an acceptable level, the scope for arthroscopy to further improve this treatment regime is limited. The functional outcome scores that were found 3 months after the surgical intervention were similar to what has been reported in other studies using different treatment option. These findings suggest that fragment specific fixation is a good alternative for treating intra-articular distal radius fractures. As in most cases, only fluoroscopy is needed for fragment specific fixation, this treatment technique is a good treatment option for resource-limited hospitals, setting who do not have access to arthroscopy.
Level of evidence
III, case-control study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Distal radius fracture, Intra-articular, Fluoroscopy, Fragment specific fixation, Gap distance, Step-off distance