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Chir Main. 2013 Feb;32(1):37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.main.2012.12.003. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

[Intra-articular distal radial fracture with lunate fossa rotated, about 4 cases: interest of surgical procedure by volar medial approach].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service d'orthopédie et de traumatologie, CHU de Pointe-À-Pitre, route de Chauvel, 97159 Pointe-à-Pitre cedex, Guadeloupe.



Intra-articular distal radial fractures in young subjects occur in severe trauma. Articular reduction needs to be anatomical. We report four cases with the particularity of having a 90° or 180° rotated lunate fossa. Our goal is to bring out the positive aspects of surgical procedure by volar medial approach and to assess long-term functionnal and radiological results.


Our study focused on four men whose average age was 27 (age range from 19 to 43). The fractures were type IV according to Melone's classification. The associated lesions included: one fracture of the base of the ulnar styloid, one fracture of the distal quarter of the ulnar diaphysis and one scapho-lunate diastasis. We used a volar medial approach between the flexors tendons and the ulnar bundle in order to pin the fragment of lunate fossa. The rest of the radial epiphysis was pinned after a 5mm skin incision. In two cases, this pinning was complemented with a brachial-antebrachial-palmar cast and in the other two cases with an external fixator.


The follow-up period averaged 68.8 (18 to 115) months, all the patients were clinically examined through antero-posterior, lateral and dynamic X-rays. The objective results assessed according to Green and O'Brien's criteria, later modified by Cooney, were as follows: two very good, one good, one average. The X-rays showed consolidated fractures. According to Knirk and Jupiter's classification of arthritis, we had three grades 0, one of which showed a subchondral sclerosis of the lunate fossa, and one grade 3.


Imaging with simple radiographs is not sufficient and needs to be complemented with CT scan. Our approach allows for direct access to the fragment of the lunate fossa and easier visualization of the distal radioulnar, compared to Henry's approach, thereby avoiding excessive traction of the median nerve. TYPE D'ÉTUDE: Niveau IV.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier SAS.

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