Outcome after surgery of distal radius fractures: no differences between external fixation and ORIF
This study reports the results of open reduction and internal fixation of 25 dorsally displaced distal radial fractures using a specifically designed plate for the distal radius, the AO pi plate (Synthes Ltd, Paoli, USA). Twenty-one of these fractures were complex and intra-articular (AO Type 'C'). Measurement of range of motion of the affected wrist at an average follow-up of 16 months revealed a median return of 60 degrees of wrist extension, 40 degrees of wrist flexion, 90 degrees of pronation and 90 degrees of supination. Radiographic assessment revealed restoration of normal radial length, inclination and palmar tilt in all but six cases. The final outcome, as assessed by the Gartland and Werley scale, was excellent in four cases, good in 11, and fair in ten cases. Complications were seen in five patients.