In extra-articular distal radius fractures, closed reduction and casting have been the mainstay of treatment, difficulty lies in predicting and maintaining the proper reduction at the final union. Percutaneous K-wire stabilization is also a widely accepted treatment option, but there is no consensus on its outcome compared to closed reduction and casting.
Aim: To evaluate the results of closed reduction and casting versus closed reduction with percutaneous K wire fixation and casting in the treatment of the distal radius extra-articular fracture with reference to the restoration of radial height, radial inclination, a volar tilt of the distal articular surface and to assess the functional outcome of the same measured by the Gartland and Werley demerit scoring system.
Materials and Methods: Prospective study was conducted on 60 patients attending the Department of Orthopaedics, from December 2013 to May 2015 with extra-articular fractures (AO type 23-A2 and 23-A3) of the distal radius and fulfilling all the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The cases were randomly divided into two equal groups of 30 patients, the first group was treated by closed reduction and below elbow cast application, while the second group was treated by closed reduction percutaneous K-wire application and below elbow cast application. The radiological outcome of both groups were evaluated by measuring the Volar inclination, Radial inclination and Radial height, while the functional outcome was evaluated by the demerit scoring system of Gartland and Werley.
Results: The Cast application group had 13 excellent, 9 good, 7 fair and 1 poor result the mean outcome score of the group was 5.2. The K wiring group had 11 excellent, 13 good, 5 fair and 1 poor result, the mean score of the group was 5.17. The unpaired student’s t-test on the values obtained from both groups yielded a p-value of 0.9816. The mean radial height in the Cast application group was 8.033mm while the mean in the k wiring group was 11.783mm. The mean volar tilt was 4.867 degrees and 7.5 degrees respectively. The mean radial inclination was 14.23 degrees and 19.1respectively. Unpaired student’s t-test on the values revealed a p-value of 0.0001 for all three.
Conclusion: We concluded that closed reduction with percutaneous K-wire fixation under C-arm for treatment of extra articular fractures of distal radius gives statistically significantly better radiological outcome than treatment with closed reduction and casting alone, but there is no statistically significant difference in functional outcome.