The relationship between radiological alignment of united distal radius fractures and functional and patient-perceived outcomes in elderly patients

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    PURPOSE : The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between radiological alignment and functional outcomes including strength, range of motion (ROM), and disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) and patient rated wrist evaluation (PRWE) scores in elderly patients with united distal radius fractures. METHODS : We reviewed 118 patients (mean age of 76.2+9.5 years, mean follow-up 36.3+17.6 months). Outcome measures included the DASH and PRWE scores, ROM, and grip and pinch strength were measured using a validated mobile hand-held dynamometer. Radial height, radial inclination, ulnar variance, and palmar tilt were measured on standard radiographs. RESULSTS : The mean total score for DASH was 4.9+7.4 and 6.9+11 for the PRWE. There were significant differences in ROM for palmar flexion and ulnar deviation between the affected wrist and the normal wrist. Linear regression revealed significant relationships for the following variables: between DASH and radiological palmar tilt, between PRWE and radiological palmar tilt, between grip strength and radial inclination, between grip strength and radial height, and between grip strength and ulnar variance. CONCLUSION : This study suggests that minor deformities of the distal radius following distal radius fractures treated with either operative or nonoperative treatment are unlikely to be clinically relevant and have no impact on patient perceived outcomes for elderly patients.