Use of a threaded pin in the treatment of extra-articular and simple articular distal radius fractures offered reliable fracture fixation, according to study results.
“There is a middle ground between more invasive surgical techniques that would...set back the recovery by being so invasive and the ground between casting and nonoperative care, which often times fails and has a high incidence of recurrent deformity. This can be something that allows anatomical restoration of radius fracture and minimizes the chance of recurrent deformity, promoting early functional recovery,” John S. Taras, MD, of Drexel University, told Orthopedics Today.
In a retrospective study, Taras and his colleagues treated 24 patients with distal radius fractures with a T-Pin device (Union Surgical LLC) and had a minimum of 1 year follow-up. Wrist range of motion, grip strength and pinch strength were reviewed as the outcome data, while radiographs were evaluated to determine volar tilt and radial height. Patients completed the DASH questionnaire at final follow-up.
Results showed 89% flexion, 96% extension, 99% supination and 100% pronation at an average of 2 years postoperatively. The contralateral upper extremity had a 93% grip strength and a 99% lateral pinch strength. Patients reported an average final DASH score of 4.4. Use of the minimally invasive approach and intramedullary placement of the device led to no postoperative soft tissue complications, according to the researchers.
From the initial postoperative radiograph to the final follow-up radiograph, results showed one patient lost 6 mm of radial height. One patient’s threaded pin was removed due to tenderness with wrist range of motion. Another patient elected to have the quiescent threaded pins removed. Results showed no further symptoms following pin removal.
Taras said future research should continue to provide information that shows use of a threaded pin for treatment of distal radius fractures is a successful technique and noted results of the current study were encouraging.
“The feedback I have been getting from physical therapists who treat my patients has been formally great,” Taras said. “They find these patients recover much more quickly.”
He added, “It is a technique useful for both the young athletic population, [so] they can get back to using their hand much quicker this way, and the older population, [after] slip and falls, can get back to independence again much quicker.” – by Casey Tingle
- Taras JS, et al. Orthopedics. 2016;doi:10.392801477447-20151222-08.
- For more information:
- John S. Taras, MD, can be reached at the Drexel University College of Medicine, department of orthopedic surgery, 245 N. 15th St., MS 420, Philadelphia, PA 19102; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclosure: Taras reports he is the owner and founder of Union Surgical LLC and has patents for a distraction pin for fracture fixation and the T-Pin.