The Evolution of Management of Fractures of the Distal Radius

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Transcript The Evolution of Management of Fractures of the Distal Radius

“The Evolution of Management of Fractures of the Distal Radius”

David S Ruch, MD Chief of Hand and Microsurgery Vice Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery

The Fracture

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Most common fracture in the upper limb 1/6 of all fractures treated in the emergency room Estimated 700,000 fractures per year

Incidence: 2 Peaks

Male 20-45 High energy injury Comminuted fracture Malunion results in loss of function and pain Females over 65 Low energy/Osteopenic “insufficiency fractures” Malunion may be well tolerated

Previous Research

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Data base mining Largely cohort based level 4 evidence comparing outcomes of operative treatment Focus has been on the disability seen in younger patients

Previous Work

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Single surgeon database Twenty seven publications 4 book chapters Primarily compared treatment modalities based on level four case controlled cohort Allowed demonstration of the significance of restoration of the “critical corner” of distal radius in patient reported outcomes

Level 3 Evidence“Arthroscopic v. Flouroscopic”

Ruch et al Arthroscopy 2004;20(3)

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1995-1999 prospectively acquired 38 pts Arthroscopically Assisted reduction and fixation of fractures of the distal radius- (DSR) Entry Criteria

Isolated Fracture

Multi-fragmentary articular (Lunate Impaction)

Arthroscopic Distal Radius: Lunate Impaction Fx

Reduce articular Surface-

No statistically significant difference in outcomes with average $5.8K additional cost C.Y. 48y/o s/pMVA

C.Y. 2 y f/u

Articular reduction anatomic but collapse as fracture heals

Palmar Versus Dorsal Plate Fixation for Distal Radius Fractures Ruch DS Papadonikolakis A JHS 2006

et al JBJS (Am) 2012

Study Population

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157 patients (88m/69f) Mean age 45.5yM 53.6F

MOA- FOOSH 87 /MVA 59 other 11 Dom 85/ Non Dom 72 Operative Treatment

External fixation +wires n=53

Dorsal plate n=32

Palmar plate n=46

Combined dorsal and volar n=26

Group 1 (n=41) >2mm depression

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External Fixation (n=17) Dorsal plate (n=17) Palmar plate (n=7)

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Group 2 (n=116) less than 2 mm of displacement

External fixation (n=34) Dorsal plate (n=36) Palmar plater (n=46)

Demographics in both groups similar in age sex and hand dominance

Results ROM

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Patients without residual depression had a significantly higher median wrist extension (65 degrees) than those with lunate displacement (45 degrees) (p=.002) Median Supination (78 degrees) than those with lunate displacement (67degrees) (p=.004)

Multi Center Trials

“Indirect reduction and percutaneous fixation versus ORIF for displaced intra articular fractures of the distal radius” Kreder,HJ et al JBJS 87-B 2005


“Indirect reduction and percutaneous fixation versus ORIF for displaced intra articular fractures of the distal radius” Kreder,HJ et al JBJS 87-B 2005

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179 Patients Prospective randomized Outcomes


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Objective -Radiographic/Physical Exam Functional

“External Fixation Versus Open Reduction Internal Fixation for Intra-articular Fractures of the Distal Radius” Kreder,HJ et al JBJS 87-B 2005

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External Fixation superior

Grip/pinch/range of motion

Functional outcome scores No difference in xrays




72y/o active retiree Single lives alone Concerns about ability to remain independent 1 week post closed reduction


Ex Fix +Allograft bone through 3-4 interval 2 weeks post ex fix and bone graft

Failure of the osteopenic bone to hold the hardware

4 weeks post op

Final result

Maybe Colles Was Right?

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Trends in the United States in the treatment of distal radial fractures in the elderly.

Chung KC , Shauver MJ , Birkmeyer JD JBJS (Am) 2009 5% sample of Medicare data from 1996 to 1997 20% sample from 1998 to 2005. four treatment methods (closed treatment, percutaneous pin fixation, internal fixation, and external fixation) frequencies and rates to compare the utilization of different treatments over time.

RESULTS: Over the ten-year time period examined, the rate of internal fixation of distal radial fractures in the elderly increased fivefold, from 3% in 1996 to 16% in 2005. Since 2000, although the majority of distal radial fractures are still treated nonoperatively, there has been an increase in the use of internal fixation and a concurrent decrease in the rate of closed treatment of distal radial fractures in the elderly in the United States.

“ A Prospective Randomized Comparison of Operative v Non Operative Management of Distal Radius Fractures in the Elderly”

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Inclusion criteria: All patients under sixty five Closed intra articular/extra articular fracture of the distal radius Exclusion Co morbidities precluding operative management Open fractures Ipsilateral injuries

Power analysis

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608 patients Randomized /

Cast treatment

Percutaneous pinning

External fixation

Open reduction plate fixation Outcome 1` /2` variables

Physical parameters ROM Grip Digital motion

Patient reported outcome variables


NIH Funding

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18 centers 35K per center Estimated 34 patients enrolled per center Attrition rate at one year ~10%


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Identify any measures between treatment groups Extrapolation of cost data both regionally and nationally “ Is the cost of operative management justified based upon outcomes at one year?”


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Orthopedic Clinical Research has traditionally been cohort based and largely level four Expert opinion considered Prospective randomized trials have largely gone unfunded Previous trials generally have grouped all patients with a given radiographic diagnosis despite obvious dissimilarities based upon age and fracture severity

Future Directions

Data base management between centers to allow for actuarial type data analysis similar to the Northeastern Cardiac Consortium (Dartmouth Hitchcock Center) to allow for analysis of variation between centers

Special Thanks

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Duke Orthopaedic Faculty / Residents Drs James Nunley and Farshid Guilak Special Thanks to Dean Andrews