Konrath, G A, MD, Bahler, S, MD

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the early results of patients with displaced and unstable distal radius fractures treated with fragment-specific fixation

Design: Prospective and Consecutive

Setting: Private Orthopaedic Practice

Patients/Participants: Twenty-five patients with 27 fractures with an average follow-up of 29 months (range 24-36 months) treated with a fragment-specific fixation for unstable radius fractures.

Main Outcome Measurements: Clinical and radiographic examination. Disabilities of the arm, hand, and shoulder and patient-rated wrist evaluation outcome measures.

Results: Patients hand an average 61* or dorsiflexion and 54* of palmar flexion at the wrist. Twenty-five fractures healed in acceptable alignment, with one loss of reduction and one patient death. Mean +/- standard deviation DASH score was 17 +/- 18, and PRWE score was 19 +/- 22.

Conclusion: Unstable distal radius fractures can be reliable and anatomically reduced and stabilized using fragment-specific fixation. Fixation of markedly comminuted fractures is secure enough to allow immediate motion and does not require casting external fixation. Preliminary clinical and radiographic results are excellent, and patient satisfaction is high. Anatomic reduction with early motion can be achieved in a routine fashion on unstable distal radius fractures using the described technique.