Comparison of external and percutaneous pin fixation with plate fixation for intra-articular distal radial fractures. A randomized study

Frankie Leung, Yuan-Kun Tu, Winston Y C Chew, Shew-Ping Chow
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2008, 90 (1): 16-22

BACKGROUND: The most effective method for the fixation of an intra-articular distal radial fracture has not been established. Two commonly used treatment methods are external fixation combined with percutaneous pin fixation and plate fixation. We performed a prospective multicenter randomized trial to compare these two treatment strategies.

METHODS: A total of 137 patients with 144 intra-articular distal radial fractures were recruited into the study. The average age of the patients was forty-two years, and all patients were sixty years old or less. The patients were randomized to fracture fixation with one of the two methods. At six, twelve, and twenty-four months postoperatively, the patients were assessed with use of the Gartland and Werley point system and the modified Green and O'Brien scoring system. Arthritis was graded on radiographs according to a modification of the Knirk and Jupiter criteria.

RESULTS: Seventy-four (51%) of the fractures were treated with external fixation and percutaneous pin fixation, and seventy were treated with dorsal, volar, or combined plate fixation. At the time of the twenty-four-month follow-up, the results for the plate fixation group were significantly better than those for the external fixation and percutaneous pin fixation group according to the Gartland and Werley point system (p = 0.04) and the radiographic arthritis grading system (p = 0.01). The difference was especially notable among patients with AO group-C2 fractures.

CONCLUSIONS: Plate fixation is better than external fixation combined with percutaneous pin fixation for the treatment of intra-articular fractures of the distal part of the radius.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"