Comparative outcome of distal radial fractures treated by percutaneous k-wire fixation and internal fixation

  • Olivia FlanneryEmail author
  • Mary Naughton
  • Alan Walsh
  • Nasir Awan
Original Article


The purpose of our study was to compare the outcome of dorsally displaced distal radial fractures treated either by open reduction and internal fixation or with percutaneous k-wire stabilisation. Twenty two consecutive patients with a dorsally displaced distal radial fracture treated surgically were reviewed. A clinical and radiological evaluation was performed and each patient completed a patient-rated wrist evaluation form. The range of movement and strength of the wrist was determined by the occupational therapist. There was no significant difference between the groups for range of movement, grip strength or radiological findings. The k-wire group produced better results for pain, function and disability scores but, the difference was not significant. There were, however, more complications in the internal-fixation group. Percutaneous k-wire stabilisation, being a less invasive and shorter surgical procedure, is the preferred method of treatment for dorsally displaced distal radial fractures.


Dorsally displaced distal radial fractures Colles fracture MUA k-wire stabilisation 



We would like to thank Clare Gilsenan, Beaumont Hospital, for her assistance and statistical advice. No funds were received in support of this study.

Conflict of interest statement

No funds were received in support of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivia Flannery
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mary Naughton
    • 1
  • Alan Walsh
    • 1
  • Nasir Awan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsBeaumont HospitalDublin 9Ireland

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