JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Ultrasound-Assisted Distal Radius Fracture Reduction.

Curēus 2016 July 8
Introduction Closed reduction of distal radius fractures (CRDRF) is a commonly performed emergency department (ED) procedure. The use of point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) to diagnose fractures and guide reduction has previously been described. The primary objective of this study was to determine if the addition of PoCUS to CRDRF changed the perception of successful initial reduction. This was measured by the rate of further reduction attempts based on PoCUS following the initial clinical determination of achievement of best possible reduction. Methods  We performed a multicenter prospective cohort study, using a convenience sample of adult ED patients presenting with a distal radius fracture to five Canadian EDs. All study physicians underwent standardized PoCUS training for fractures. Standard clinically-guided best possible fracture reduction was initially performed. PoCUS was then used to assess the reduction adequacy. Repeat reduction was performed if deemed indicated. A post-reduction radiograph was then performed. Clinician impression of reduction adequacy was scored on a 5 point Likert scale following the initial clinically-guided reduction and following each PoCUS scan and the post-reduction radiograph. Results  There were 131 patients with 132 distal radius fractures. Twelve cases were excluded prior to analysis. There was no significant difference in the assessment of the initial reduction status by PoCUS as compared to the clinical exam (mean score: 3.8 vs. 3.9; p = 0.370; OR 0.89; 95% CI 0.46 to 1.72; p = 0.87). Significantly fewer cases fell into the uncertain category with PoCUS than with clinical assessment (2 vs 12; p = 0.008). Repeat reduction was performed in 49 patients (41.2%). Repeat reduction led to a significant improvement (p < 0.001) in the PoCUS determined adequacy of reduction (mean score: 4.3 vs 3.1; p < 0.001). In this group, the odds ratio for adequate vs. uncertain or inadequate reduction assessment using PoCUS was 12.5 (95% CI 3.42 to 45.7; p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the assessment of reduction by PoCUS vs. radiograph. Conclusions PoCUS-guided fracture reduction leads to repeat reduction attempts in approximately 40% of cases and enhances certainty regarding reduction adequacy when the clinical assessment is unclear.

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