Open reduction and internal fixation of distal radius fractures often necessitates release of the brachioradialis from the radial styloid. However, whether this common procedure makes the reduction and fixation easier and affects the elbow function has not been fully understood.
Brachioradialis (BR) release during volar plate fixation for type C distal radius fractures makes internal reduction and fixation easier, and it does not adversely affect wrist or elbow function.
Material and methods
A total of 74 patients treated with 2.4mm volar locking compression column plate (VCP) were analyzed for type C distal radius fractures prospectively. The patients were divided into two groups, group A with BR release and group B without BR release. The two groups were compared in terms of “internal reduction and fixation time” during the operation, wrist and elbow function including the scores of Gartland and Werley (G-W), Patient-related wrist evaluation score (PRWE), Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS), the Disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) and a Visual analog scale (VAS) for pain at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. The radial inclination angle, palmar tilt angle and ulnar variance were also measured from the radiographs.
According to the follow-up of the 74 patients, no significant differences were observed between the two groups on MEPS, DASH, G-W, PRWE, VAS and radiological outcomes at 6 and 12 months postoperatively. Mean time of reduction and internal fixation was significantly shorter in group A than that in group B.
Release of the BR for type C distal radius fractures facilitated the surgical procedure and did not adversely affect elbow and wrist function.
Level of evidence
II, prospective comparative study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Distal radius fracture, Brachioradialis release, Column plate, Open reduction and internal fixation