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Conventus DRS Intramedullary Fixation for Distal Radius Fractures: A Case Series
Stephanie D. Malliaris, MD; Schneider K. Rancy, BA; Scott W. Wolfe, MD
Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY

Hypothesis: Conventus DRS is a novel FDA-approved intramedullary fracture fixation device used for distal radius fractures. We examine a series of 15 patients and report the outcomes.
Methods: report of this device in the US. 15 patients with distal radius fractures (12 AO type C1 and C2; 3 AO type A2 and A3) underwent ORIF using Conventus DRS by a single surgeon. No tourniquet was used. Data including fracture type, angle of displacement, grip strength, wrist ROM, PRWE, and VAS pain scores were recorded at time of surgery and at follow-up.
Results: All patients (average age of 51 years; range 25 to 74) underwent uneventful ORIF. At first follow-up visit (average 9 days) all patients had full digital ROM (measured as 0 cm tip-to-palm distance). No patients required refilling of their immediate post-operative narcotic prescription. At average follow-up of 3 months (range 1.5 - 7) the VAS pain scores averaged 0.4 (range 0-7; median 1) and the PRWE averaged 22.7 (range 10.5-67). Grip strength was 30.9 kg (range 5-60) and ROM was as follows: WF 65 degrees (50-90), WE 71 (40-105), pronation 74 (60-80), supination 78 (70-90), ulnar deviation 26 (15-45) and radial deviation 14 (5-20). Two patients underwent prophylactic screw removal to prevent tendon irritation from a screw judged above the subchondral line on lateral view (Figure 1). One patient had 1-2mm settling of the distal fragment. Concern for hardware prominence is prompting prophylactic hardware removal. There were no other complications, including CRPS, in the series to date.
Summary Points: Conventus DRS is a promising alternative to established methods of distal radius ORIF. The complication rate of Conventus as published in their white paper was 8.3% (5 out of 60 patients): 1 hardware-related complication and 4 transient radial neuritis cases (1). The complication rate of volar plating ranges 3-34% in the literature. While we had an initially high prophylactic hardware removal rate (19%), we have modified the technique to reduce the potential for future hardware removal. The technique is notable for minimal postoperative swelling, rapid return of digital function, low pain scores, and lack of soft tissue complications. The Conventus DRS intramedullary device appears to be safe and effective for articular and non-articular distal radius fractures. A randomized trial is underway.


Figure 1. PA and lateral wrist radiographs of an asymptomatic post-op patient showing prominent dorsal screw, which was removed prophylactically to prevent tendon irritation.


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