Published: 2017-12-22

An analysis of functional outcome following conservative versus surgical management in fractures of the distal radius

Yeshwanth Subash, Ravikrishna R., Jagadeesh B.


Background: Distal radial fractures are one of the most common injuries seen in the orthopaedic department, which can be managed both conservatively and surgically. There are advantages and disadvantages in each method of management. The aim of this study was to compare the functional and radiological outcomes of intra-articular fractures of the distal end of the radius with conservative and surgical management.

Methods: 80 cases of intra articular fractures of the distal radius managed by both conservative and surgical means were studied between January 2011 to January 2013 and were followed up for a minimum period of two years.

Results: In our series of 80 patients, there 53 males and 27 females. Most of the patients were between 20-30 years of age with the mean age being 40.35 years. RTA was the most common mode of injury (45%). Frykman’s type 3 (41.7%) was the most common fracture type seen followed by type 8. All fractures united by the end of 6 months. Excellent results were seen in 47.5% of cases in the surgical group and 30% of cases in the conservative group.

Conclusions: From this study, we conclude that surgical management is better than conservative in the treatment of intra articular fractures of the distal end of radius. Therefore, one treatment method of treatment cannot be generalized for all types of fractures and treatment should be individualized to a particular fracture in terms of age, fracture pattern, degree of displacement and amount of communition present.



Distal radius, Frykman, Conservative, Fixation

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