The role of CT scan in postoperative evaluation of distal radius fractures: Retrospective analysis in regard to complications and revision rates.

Research paper by Michael G MG Jakubietz, Laura L Mages, Robert K RK Zahn, Werner W Kenn, Rafael G RG Jakubietz, Rainer H RH Meffert

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Journal of Orthopaedic Science


Intraarticular fractures of the distal radius present a challenging problem for surgeons. While preoperative CT scans are considered helpful to understand the type of fracture and to choose an adequate approach, the role of postoperative CT scans is not yet clearly defined. The aim of this study was to analyze indications for postoperative CT scans and to evaluate its potential therapeutic consequence in regard to detection of complications and its influence on revision rates in intraarticular fractures. These findings were used to establish an algorithm to help identifying patients that benefit from a postoperative CT scan.Ninety-two patients with intraarticular fractures were included. AO type C fractures were seen in about 90% of patients, with type C3 being present in 55% of the patients. According to Frykman's classification type 7 and 8 fractures were found in 93%. Data was analyzed in regard to radiographic results, complications and indication for a postoperative CT scan.Six patients underwent revision surgery. When analyzing data in regard to correlation of radiographs and CT Scans a statistically significant correlation was found.A high correlation between both imaging techniques can be shown. In inconclusive radiographs, CT scans are recommended to rule out intraarticular screw placement or step offs. Due to the number of patients and the retrospective design, further studies are needed.