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Radiological and functional outcome in extra-articular fractures of lower end radius treated conservatively with respect to its position of immobilization

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Author(s): Rajan Sunil | Jain Saurabh | Ray A | Bhargava P

Journal: Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
ISSN 0019-5413

Volume: 42;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 201;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Cast immobilization | dorsiflexion | extra-articular fracture of lower end radius | palmar flexion

ABSTRACT
Background: Extra-articular fractures of lower end radius are conventionally immobilized in palmar flexion and ulnar deviation. In view of poor functional results, the conventional method of immobilization is giving way to dorsiflexed-immobilized method. The aim of our study is to evaluate and compare the radiological and functional outcome in extra-articular fractures of lower end radius treated conservatively with respect to its position of immobilization. Materials and Methods: Sixty-four patients, all above 20 years of age with closed extra-articular fractures of lower end radius who were treated conservatively by close reduction and below elbow cast application constitute the clinical material. Irrespective of fracture geometry the patients were randomly allocated to dorsal or palmar flexed immobilized position of wrist. Patients were followed up for a minimum six-month period. The radial tilt, palmar tilt and ulnar variance are measured at prereduction, postreduction and at 6 month followup. The results were scored by Demerit Scoring System of Saito. Results: All fractures united. Individual movement of dorsiflexion, palmar flexion, supination, pronation and radial-ulnar deviation were all significantly better in the dorsiflexed-immobilized group as compared with the palmar flexed immobilized group. Grip strength recovery with subjective assessment was better in the dorsiflexed group (77%) as compared to the palmar flexed group (23%). Radiological parameters were markedly better in the dorsiflexed group. Ninety-one per cent of patients in the dorsiflexed group had excellent to good results as compared to 66% in the palmar flexed group. Conclusion: Functional results of extra-articular fractures of lower end radius are superior if the fractures after reduction are immobilized in dorsiflexion of wrist rather than in conventional palmar flexion position.
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