Articular reductions - how close is close enough? A narrative review

Jhase Sniderman, Patrick Henry
Injury 2019 October 26
Intra-articular fractures are a unique subset of fractures as they involve a varying extent of damage to cartilage. The impact of this articular fracture causes significant microscopic and macroscopic changes, as well as biomechanical irregularities, which can lead to further cartilage damage, and ultimately cascade down the dreaded path to arthritis. It is generally believed that an anatomic reduction of an articular fracture is the necessary goal of treatment for these injuries, however it yet to be delineated how perfect this reduction has to be. A comprehensive literature review was carried out to create a best available evidence guide to the acceptability of upper extremity and lower extremity articular fracture reductions. Ultimately, a perfect anatomic reduction is the best strategy to minimize abnormal loading and wear patterns, however this should be balanced with the realistic factors of each individual case, such as the level of difficulty, joint involved, surgical timing, and patient activity levels.

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