A Meta-Analysis of the Literature on Distal Radius Fractures

Paksima, Nader; Panchal, Anand; Posner, Martin A.; Green, Steven M.; Mehlman, Charles T.; Hiebert, Rudi
January 2004
Bulletin of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases;2004, Vol. 62 Issue 1/2, p40
Academic Journal
A structured meta-analysis of the available literature was performed to evaluate the outcome of the treatment of displaced intra-articular fractures of the distal radius. A comprehensive search of Medline using the key words "radius" and "fracture" revealed over 4,000 articles. After limiting the search to clinical trials in English and excluding pediatric and geriatric age groups as well as biomechanical and animal studies, 615 abstracts were identified in the period from 1976 to May 1998. Thirty-one articles met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. These included two prospective randomized comparative trials, two non-randomized comparative trials, one half prospective case series and half historical control, and 27 papers on case series. Four papers dealt with external fixation versus closed reduction and cast treatment and one paper looked at open reduction internal fixation with or without additional external fixation. There was insufficient data to perform a scientific meta-analysis because of the poor quality of the studies and lack of a uniform method of outcome assessment. However, the data from the comparative trials showed that external fixation was favored over closed reduction and casting. Additionally, comparing the results of the case series showed that external fixation was superior to internal fixation.


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