Controversies in the Management of Distal Radius Fractures

Kenneth Koval J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2014 vol. 22 no. 9

ntroversies span the entire spectrum of management of distal radius fractures—fracture assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of outcomes. The utility of multiple radiographic views described in the literature has not been validated. Likewise, the several classification systems that exist have yet to demonstrate substantial interobserver and intraobserver reliability. Nonsurgical controversies involve fracture reduction, use of anesthesia, type of fracture immobilization, and forearm position during healing. Surgical controversies include surgical indications, need for release of carpal tunnel, fracture fixation method, and the need for augmentation (ie, bone graft). Postoperatively, rehabilitation, medication, and physical therapy also remain highly controversial. The best outcome measure has yet to be established. A strong need remains for high-level, prospective studies to determine the most effective way to assess, diagnose, treat, and measure outcomes in patients with distal radius fractures.

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