Outcomes of Pin and Plaster Versus Locking Plate in Distal Radius Intraarticular Fractures




Background: Distal radius fractures are among the most prevalent fractures predictive of probable occurrence of other osteoporotic fractures. They are treated via a variety of methods, but the best treatment has not been defined yet. Objectives: This study was performed to compare the results of open reduction and internal fixation with locking plates versus the pin and plaster method. Materials and Methods: In this prospective study, 114 patients aged 40 to 60 years with Fernandez type III fracture referring to Imam-Reza and Mehr hospitals of Mashhad from 2009 to 2011, were selected randomly; after obtaining informed consent, they were treated with pin and plaster fixation (n = 57) or internal fixation with the volar locking plate (n = 57). They were compared at the one year follow up. Demographic features and standard radiographic indices were recorded and MAYO, DASH and SF - 36 tests were performed. Data was analyzed by SPSS software version 13, with descriptive indices, Mann-Whitney and Chi-square tests. Results: SF-36 test demonstrated a better general health (P < 0.001), mental health (P = 0.006), physical functioning (P < 0.001), social functioning (P < 0.001) and energy/fatigue (P < 0.001) in LCP group. However, pain (P = 0.647) was not significantly different between the groups. Physical limitation (P < 0.001) and emotional limitation (P < 0.001) were greater in the pin and plaster group. Also, in the LCP group mean MAYO score (P < 0.001) was more than pin and plaster group. Mean DASH score was not different between the groups (P = 0.218). The rate of acceptable results of radiographic indices (P < 0.001), grip strength (P < 0.001) and range of motion in supination-pronation (P < 0.001) in LCP method were better than the pin and plaster method. Conclusions: In treatment of intra-articular distal radius fractures in middle-aged patients internal fixation with locking plates may be prefered to pin and plaster as the treatment of choice.