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Scientific Articles   |    
Closed Treatment of Overriding Distal Radial Fractures without Reduction in Children
Scott N. Crawford, MD1; Lorrin S.K. Lee, MD1; Byron H. Izuka, MD2
1 University of Hawaii Orthopaedics Residency Program, 1356 Lusitana Street, 6th Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813
2 Children's Orthopaedics of Hawaii, Pali Momi Medical Office Building, 98-1079 Moanalua Road, Suite 600, Aiea, HI 96701. E-mail address: bizuka@pol.net
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  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at Children's Orthopaedics of Hawaii, Pali Momi Medical Center, Aiea, Hawaii



Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2012 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2012 Feb 01;94(3):246-252. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.00163
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Abstract

Background: 

Traditionally, distal radial fractures with marked displacement and angulation have been treated with closed or open reduction techniques. Reduction maneuvers generally require analgesia and sedation, which increase hospital time, cost, patient risk, and the surgeon's time. In our study, a treatment protocol for pediatric distal radial fractures was used in which the fracture was left shortened in an overriding position and a cast was applied without an attempt at anatomic fracture reduction.

Methods: 

Consecutive patients three to ten years of age presenting between 2004 and 2009 with a closed overriding fracture of the distal radial metaphysis were followed prospectively. Our protocol consisted of no analgesia, no sedation, and a short arm fiberglass cast gently molded to correct only angulation. Patients were followed for at least one year. All parents or guardians were given a questionnaire assessing their satisfaction with the treatment. Financial analysis was performed with use of Current Procedural Terminology codes and the average total cost of care.

Results: 

Fifty-one children with an average age of 6.9 years were included in the study. Initial radial shortening averaged 5.0 mm. Initial sagittal and coronal angulation averaged 4.0° and 3.2°, respectively. The average duration of casting was forty-two days. Residual sagittal and coronal angulation at the time of final follow-up averaged 2.2° and 0.8°, respectively. All fifty-one patients achieved clinical and radiographic union with a full range of wrist motion. All parents and guardians answered the questionnaire and were satisfied with the treatment. Cost analysis demonstrated that closed reduction with the patient under conscious sedation or general anesthesia is nearly five to six times more expensive than the treatment used in this study. Adding percutaneous pin fixation increases costs nearly ninefold.

Conclusions: 

This treatment protocol presents an alternative approach to overriding distal radial fractures in children and provides the orthopaedic surgeon a simple, effective, and cost and time-efficient method of treatment.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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