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Changes in the Fracture Patterns of the Distal Radius in Patients Aged Between 51-89 Years Between 2006 And 2012
Sohail Nisar, MBBS, MRes; Osman Riaz; Mayank Vashishta; Sudhi Ankarath
Trauma and Orthopaedics, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, Huddersfield, United Kingdom

Introduction: Distal radius fractures are the most common fracture to be seen in emergency department. The incidence of these fractures is increasing. When considering the over-65-year group, distal radius fractures account for 18% of all fractures. The aim of the study was to investigate the change of fracture pattern seen in our elderly patient population (aged 51-89).

Methods: A retrospective comparison of fractures of the distal radius operated during the years 2006-7, and 2012-13. Information was obtained from the Orthopaedic Department discharge records. Patients aged 50 years or less and patients above the age of 89 were excluded.

During 2006-7, 136 patients aged 51-89 years had surgery for a distal radius fracture. During 2012-13, 118 patients aged 51-89 years were operated on for a distal radius fracture. Fractures were classified using the AO classification system.

Results: This study demonstrated an increase in the number of Type C fractures requiring treatment. The incidence of Type C fractures increased from 24.3% (n=33) in 2006-7, to 48.3% (n=57) in 2012-13. In the 2006-7 group 49.3% (n=67) of treated fractures were Type A; the number of this type of fracture reduced in the 2012-13 group to 44.1% (n=52). Over the same time period the number of Type B fractures treated saw a large reduction from 26.5% (n=36) to 7.6% (n=9).

Discussion: Over the last decade there has been an increasing trend toward surgical intervention for the treatment of distal radius fractures. It has not been shown as to why this trend is occurring the authors argue could this be due to the increasing rates of complex distal radius fractures? The results presented above show an increase in the incidence of Type C fractures, within this group the incidence of Type C3 fractures also increased.

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