The Effect of Intra-carpal Kirschner Wire Augmentation in Screw Fixation of Scaphoid – A Retrospective Cohort Study
Introduction: Scaphoid fractures are most often treated with a single headless compression screw. However, intercarpal Kirschner wire (K-wire) might be added to improve stability and fracture outcomes. This study will determine if there is a difference in treatment outcome (union rate and time to union) between scaphoid fracture fixations using a single headless compression screw with and without augmentation using a intracarpal intramedullary K-wire.
Material and Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients who underwent surgery for isolated scaphoid fractures over a 15 years period from December 2000 to December 2015. Only patients who underwent open surgery with bone grafting were included. They were divided into a group treated with a single screw fixation, and another group treated with screw and K-wire fixations.
Results: Forty-four (58.7%) patients had single screw fixation and 31 (41.3%) had screw augmented with K-wire fixation. The overall union rate was 88.0%, with an overall mean time to union of 5.3 months. There was no difference in union rate (p=0.84) and time to union (p=0.66) between the single screw group and combined screw and K-wire group. Univariate analysis found that older age (t=-2.11, p=0.04) had a significant effect on union rate. Regression model showed that age had a significant effect on months to union.
Conclusion: In open fixation of scaphoid fractures with compression screw and bone grafting, union rate and time to union is comparable whether or not screw fixation was augmented with an intracarpal K-wire. There was no increased risk of complications associated with augmented screw. Age of patient affected time to union and union rate.
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