The study evaluated the outcome of the treatment of patients who sustained high-energy, compression-type injuries of the distal radius.
The retrospective study evaluated the outcome of reduction and plating of the lunate facet in conjunction with standard external fixation.
A Level I trauma center.
Inclusion criteria for study participation included: 1) age between 18 and 65 years of age with no evidence of concomitant metabolic bone disease; and 2) a 3- or 4-part compression type fracture of the distal radius with residual displacement of the palmar lunate facet despite reduction of the dorsal cortex by the application of an external fixator.
Fractures were treated with palmar plating of the depressed lunate facet combined with dorsal external fixation.
Main Outcome Measurements
Posttreatment evaluations consisted of measurements of range of motion, grip strength, radiographic evaluations, and completion of Disability of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaires.
Three months after surgery, 20 of 21 patients exhibited full range of motion at the MCP/PIP joints. At the 2-year follow-up, an average palmar tilt of +1.0°, radial inclination of 24°, radial length of 12 mm, ulnar variance of 0.5 mm, intra-articular gap of 0.1 mm, and intra-articular step-off of 0.3 mm was documented. Using the Garland and Werley rating system, results were rated as excellent or good for 18 wrists, fair for 2 wrists, and poor for 1 wrist. Mean Disability of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand functional scores and athletic scores improved at 6 months.
Reduction and plating of the lunate facet in conjunction with standard external fixation permits: 1) visualization and reduction of the palmar lunate facet; and 2) reduction of palmar tilt to neutral tilt without significant radial shortening. This technique should be considered as an acceptable option in the treatment of high-energy fractures of the distal radius.