Orthopedic Trauma Directions 2011; 9(2): 13-23
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1267075
Clinical topic
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Distal radial fractures in the elderly

Operative versus nonoperative treatment
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13. April 2011 (online)


It is not possible from two retrospective cohort studies to draw definitive conclusions on the most effective treatment (operative versus nonoperative) for distal radial fractures in the elderly. Despite having better radiographic alignment, patients receiving operative care have similar functional outcomes and overall range of motion compared with those receiving nonoperative care. Results are mixed with respect to residual pain and grip strength. Arthritic changes tended to occur less frequently in patients treated with surgery. However, one study reported a greater proportion of patients developed arthritis with operative treatment in those with extraarticular fractures. Complications were similar between groups.