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Indian J Orthop. 2011 Sep;45(5):422-6. doi: 10.4103/0019-5413.83949.

Percutaneous pinning for non-comminuted extra-articular fractures of distal radius.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Fortis-Malar Hospital, Chennai, India.



Various treatment modalities have been described for the treatment of extra-articular distal radius fractures each with its own merits and demerits. Most of the work done with percutaneous pinning has shown a significant residual stiffness of the hand and wrist. Our technique involves percutaneous pinning of the fracture and immobilization in neutral position of the wrist for three weeks. This study's aim was to examine the functional outcome of percutaneous K-wiring of these extra-articular distal radius fractures with immobilization in neutral position of the wrist.


This is a prospective study of 32 patients aged between 18 and 70 years with extra-articular distal radius fracture. Patients were treated with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning using two or three K-wires. A below- elbow plaster of paris dorsoradial slab was applied in neutral position of the wrist for 3 weeks. At the end of 3 weeks, the slab was removed and wrist physiotherapy started. The radiographs were taken postoperatively, at 3 weeks, 6 weeks and 6 months. The functional evaluation of the patients was done at 6 months follow-up. We used Sarmiento's modification of Lindstrom criteria and Gartland and Werley's criteria for evaluation of results.


Excellent to good results were seen in 93.75% of the cases while 6.25% had fair results. The complications observed were pin loosening (n=13), pin tract infection (n=2), malunion (n=2), wrist joint stiffness (n=2), reduced grip strength (n=2) and injury to the superficial radial nerve (n=1).


Percutaneous pinning followed by immobilization of the wrist in neutral position is a simple and effective method to maintain reduction and prevent stiffness of wrist and hand.


Extraarticular distal radius fracture; immobilization with wrist in neutral position; percutaneous pinning

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