Success Rate and Complications of Comminuted Intra-Articular Distal Radius Fracture Treatment via Closed Reduction and Use of a Mini-External Fixator




Background: Intra-articular fracture of the distal radius is extremely common; however, the management of this fracture is controversial. Objectives: With regard to the importance of intra-articular fracture of the distal radius and the best treatment method for the fracture, we sought to assess the success rate following the treatment of comminuted intra-articular fractures of the distal radius via closed reduction and use of a mini-external fixator. Patients and Methods: This longitudinal retrospective study was undertaken at our department of orthopedics via assessment of radiographs and patient files of those referred from 2006 to 2013. Radiographic criteria included the degree of angulation and shortening of the radius. Data were analyzed using SPSS 18 software and were presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD). The significance level was set at P ≤ 0.05. Results: Overall, ≥ 2 mm shortening of the radius was seen in 28% of the patients, 53% had 2 - 5 mm radial shortening and 19% of the patients had more than 5 mm shortening of the radius. Most of the participants had acceptable outcomes. The mean angulation was 6.28 ± 2.85 degrees and the mean shortening was 3.92 ± 2.22. Thirty-nine percent of the patients had an angulation of less than 5 mm, 56% and 5% had an angulation of 5 - 10 mm and more than 10 mm, respectively. Conclusions: The results of our study showed that the mini-external fixator is a good and effective treatment option for obtaining radial length, angulation and bony union in intra-articular fractures of the distal radius.