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J Hand Surg Am. 2014 May;39(5):835-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.02.013. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Arthroscopic reduction of comminuted intra-articular distal radius fractures with diaphyseal-metaphyseal comminution.

Author information

1
Instituto de Cirugía Plástica y de la Mano, Private Practice, and Hospital Mutua Montañesa, Santander, Spain. Electronic address: drpinal@drpinal.com.
2
Instituto de Cirugía Plástica y de la Mano, Private Practice, and Hospital Mutua Montañesa, Santander, Spain.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In the setting of severely comminuted diaphyseal-metaphyseal fractures of the distal radius, arthroscopic reduction of the joint surface is difficult and often results in shortening and collapse. Yet, several authors have shown the benefits of arthroscopy in articular distal radius fractures. We present a method that safely allows a combination of arthroscopic reduction and rigid fixation and describe the outcomes in a small group of patients.

METHODS:

Four consecutive patients with severely comminuted diaphyseal-metaphyseal articular fractures of the distal radius were treated using the stable reference fragment technique. For all cases, we used an extra-long volar locking plate applied to the diaphysis of the radius. Preoperative computed tomography scanning was used to identify the largest articular fragment. This reference fragment was reduced and stabilized with locking pegs or screws to the volar plate under fluoroscopic guidance. The articular reduction continued arthroscopically, using the reference fragment as a guide. Once the articular reduction was complete, the comminuted metaphysis was addressed and secured to the plate.

RESULTS:

All patients achieved excellent clinical and radiological results. Flexion-extension averaged 124° and pronation-supination averaged 174°. One patient showed minor signs of radiocarpal osteoarthritis on radiographs at 3 years.

CONCLUSIONS:

By securing the reference fragment before addressing the metaphyseal comminution, a stable platform was created. Thus, intra-articular reduction was achieved while maintaining extra-articular alignment. Although the results were excellent, the number of cases was small.

TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic IV.

KEYWORDS:

Arthroscopy; articular distal radius; comminuted fractures; wrist

PMID:
24674608
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.02.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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