Surgical management of fractures of distal end radius using uniplanar external fixator augmented with percutaneous kirschner wire fixation

H. B. Shivakumar, T. S. Channappa, Sushma C., Manju Jayaram


Background: Distal end radius fractures is one of the most common fractures of the upper limb especially in the elderly population, accounting for about 17% of all upper limb fractures. Surgical stabilization of these fractures remains a challenge even today. Although the recent trend is towards internal fixation with locking plates, the external fixator itself has its own advantages in the treatment of these fractures.

Methods: This study is a prospective, time bound, hospital based study conducted in Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Center, Bangalore, between November 2014 to April 2016. The study included 30 cases of distal end radius fractures that were operated with the closed reduction and uniplanar external fixator augmented with k-wire for distal end radius by the principle of ligamentotaxis.

Results: In our study, 14 (46.6 %) patients had excellent results. Whereas, 11 (36.7%) patients had good results and 3 (10%) had fair and only 2 (6.7%) patients had poor results. Most of the fractures united by 12 weeks. Complications associated with the study was stiffness, malunion, sudeck’s  osteodystrophy and pin tract infection.

Conclusions: The uniplanar external fixator augmented with k-wire is a good choice in the treatment of distal end radius fractures  in terms of providing a good functional outcome if proper preoperative planning, good reduction and surgical technique are followed, leading to high rate of bone union, minimal soft tissue damage and complications.


Distal end radius, Uniplanar external fixator, Modified Green O’Brien score

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