COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

[EFFECTIVENESS COMPARISON OF EXTERNAL FIXATION AND VOLAR LOCKING COMPRESSION PLATE IN TREATMENT OF DISTAL RADIUS FRACTURES OF TYPE C]

Liangkuan Sha, Qingyu Chen, Lingtong Sun, Bin Dong, Lixin Li
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2015, 29 (6): 683-7
26466468

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of external fixation and volar locking compression plate in the treatment of distal radius fractures of type C.

METHODS: Between March 2012 and March 2013, 122 patients with distal radius fractures of type C were enrolled in the prospective randomized study. Fractures were treated by external fixation in 61 patients (external fixation group) and by open reduction and internal fixation using a volar locking compression plate in 61 patients (plate group). There was no significant difference in age, gender, fracture side, weight, height, body mass index, fracture type, and interval of injury and operation between 2 groups (P > 0.05). The blood loss, operation time, hospitalization days, fracture union time, wrist function, and complications were compared between 2 groups. And the quality of reduction was observed, including volar tilting angle, ulnar deviation, radial height, and articular reduction.

RESULTS: The blood loss, operation time, and hospitalization days in plate group were significantly higher than those in external fixation group (P < 0.05). All of the patients in both groups were followed up 12-28 months. Postoperative complications occurred in 4 patients (6.6%) of external fixation group (pin tract infection in 2 cases and radial nerve neuritis in 2 cases) and in 5 patients (8.2%) of plate group (wound infection in 1 case, carpal tunnel syndrome in 2 cases, and tendon rupture in 2 cases), showing no significant difference between 2 groups (P = 0.500). The X-ray films showed fracture healing in all patients of 2 groups; the union time of plate group was significantly longer than that of external fixation group (P < 0.05). At last follow-up, there was no significant difference in ulnar deviation and radial height between 2 groups (P > 0.05), but the volar tilting angle of plate group was significantly larger than that of external fixation group (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in wrist function and articular reduction between 2 groups (P > 0.05).

CONCLUSION: For distal radius fractures of type C, the use of external fixation or volar locking compression plate can obtain satisfactory clinical outcomes, but the external fixation has the advantages of less invasion, shorter hospitalization days, minor complications, and faster fracture union.

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