Introduction: Distal radius fracture (DRF) is the most common orthopaedic injury with a reported incidence of 17.5%. It is commonly seen in young males and elderly females. Over the last two decades, there is an increasing tendency to treat DRF surgically by open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with plate and screws owing to improved device design, better fixation and operative technique. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the demographic characteristics, type and method of fixation, and outcome in all surgically treated DRF cases from 2014 to 2018 in a university hospital.
Materials and methods: A retrospective review of all surgically treated DRF cases with one year follow-up in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia was done. Patients who left the follow-up clinic before one-year post-surgery or before fracture union were excluded. A total of 82 patients with 88 DRF were finally included into the study and outcome in terms of union time and need of multiple surgeries were analysed along with the predictors.
Results: In this study, mean age of the patient was 46.2 years. Motor vehicle accident was the commonest cause of the fracture and AO Type C fracture was the commonest fracture type. Seventeen (19.3%) out of 88 fractures were compound fracture. Open reduction and internal fixation with volar plate was the most common surgical technique done in this series (93.2%). Three (3.5%) out of 88 fractures required multiple surgeries and eighty-three (94.3%) DRF cases were united before nine months of the surgery in this study. There was statistically significant association between clinical type of the fracture and the union time (p-value <0.05).
Conclusion: There was a 1.7:1 male-female ratio with AOC fracture being the most common type of fracture. The most common method of fixation was ORIF with volar locked plate. Patients with closed fractures have a higher rate of union compared to open fractures at nine months.
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