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Distal radius fracture malunion: Importance of managing injuries of the distal radio-ulnar joint.

Delclaux, Stéphanie and Trang Pham, Thi Thuy and Bonnevialle, Nicolas and Aprédoaei, Costel and Rongières, Michel and Bonnevialle, Paul and Mansat, Pierre Distal radius fracture malunion: Importance of managing injuries of the distal radio-ulnar joint. (2016) Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research, 102 (3). 327-332. ISSN 1877-0568

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.otsr.2015.12.010


Background: Distal radius malunion is a major complication of distal radius fractures, reported in 0 to 33% of cases. Corrective osteotomy to restore normal anatomy usually provides improved function and significant pain relief. We report the outcomes in a case-series with special attention to the potential influence of the initial management. Material and methods: This single-centre retrospective study included 12 patients with a mean age of 35 years (range, 14–60 years) who were managed by different surgeons. There were 8 extra-articular fractures, including 3 with volar angulation, 2 anterior marginal fractures, and 2 intra-articular T-shaped fractures; the dominant side was involved in 7/12 patients. Initial fracture management was with an anterior plate in 2 patients, Kapandji intra-focal pinning in 5 patients, plate and pin fixation in 2 patients, and non-operative reduction in 3 patients. The malunion was anterior in 10 patients, including 2 with intra-articular malunion, and posterior in 2 patients. Corrective osteotomy of the radius was performed in all 12 patients between 2005 and 2012. In 11/12 patients, mean time from fracture to osteotomy was 168 days (range, 45–180 days). The defect was filled using an iliac bone graft in 7 patients and a bone substitute in 4 patients. No procedures on the distal radio-ulnar joint were performed. Results: All 12 patients were evaluated 24 months after the corrective osteotomy. They showed gains in ranges not only of flexion/extension, but also of pronation/supination. All patients reported improved wrist function. The flexion/extension arc increased by 40◦ (+21◦ of flexion and +19◦ of extension) and the pronation/supination arc by 46◦ (+13◦ of pronation and +15◦ of supination). Mean visual analogue scale score for pain was 1.7 (range, 0–3). Complications recorded within 2 years after corrective osteotomy were complex regional pain syndrome type I (n = 1), radio-carpal osteoarthritis (n = 3), and restricted supination due to incongruity of the distal radio-ulnar joint surfaces (n = 3). This last abnormality should therefore receive careful attention during the management of distal radius malunion. Discussion: In our case-series study, 3 (25%) patients required revision surgery for persistent loss of supination. The main error in these patients was failure to perform a complementary procedure on the distal radio-ulnar joint despite postoperative joint incongruity. This finding and data from a literature review warrant a high level of awareness that distal radio-ulnar joint congruity governs the outcome of corrective osteotomy for distal radius malunion.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com The original PDF of the article can be found at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877056816000050#!
HAL Id:hal-04526624
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse - CHU Toulouse (FRANCE)
Deposited On:08 Nov 2017 09:32

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