JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Treatment of isolated diaphyseal fractures of the radius with an intramedullary nail in adults.

BACKGROUND: The goal of the radius diaphysis fractures in surgical treatment is restoration of bone length, rotation correction and to secure fixation that allows early mobilization. The purpose of this study is evaluating the results of intramedullary (IM) radius nail for the treatment of isolated adult diaphyseal fractures of the radius.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed adults with isolated fractures of the radius, who were treated with closed or mini open reduction with a IM radius nail between May 2008 and November 2011 and who were followed for a least 1 year. Patients with a Galeazzi fracture, a pathological fracture, or patients with nonunion after previous surgeries were excluded. All patients were allowed full range of motion without any external support. Primary outcomes were Grace and Eversmann rating, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores.

RESULTS: Twenty-three enrolled patients (mean age 34 years; 17 men) had 23 isolated radius fractures. Mean time to fracture union was 12 weeks (range 10-13 weeks) for radius fractures. No patient had nonunion, deep infections, or radioulnar synostosis. Follow-up ranged from 12 to 42 months. Grace and Eversmann ratings of 21 patients were excellent or good, and 2 patients were medium. Mean DASH score was 4.2 points (range 0-13.3).

CONCLUSIONS: Our experience indicates that this new IM radius nail may be considered as an alternative to plate osteosynthesis for fractures of the radius diaphysis in adults. IM nailing of radius fractures provides reliable bony union and excellent postoperative clinical results in adults.

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