Excision Versus Fixation of the Radial Head: A Comparative Study of the Functional Outcomes of the Two Techniques RC01-RC03
Dr. Arjun Ballal,
Registrar, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery,
ARS Hospital, Tirupur, Tamil Nadu-641604, India.
Introduction: The management of displaced and comminuted radial head fractures has been a matter of debate amongst surgeons for many years. Radial head excision formed the mainstay of surgical management of these injuries. Over the years, there have been improvements in the surgical techniques and availability of better implants and instrumentation techniques, hence, open reduction and internal fixation of these fractures is gaining popularity.
Aim: To compare the outcome of elbow function between radial head excision and open reduction and internal fixation of the radial head with mini screws of Mason Type II and Type III radial head fractures and to assess the complications that occur in both techniques.
Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery of Justice K.S.Hegde Charitable hospital. A total of 40 patients between the age group of 30-50 years with Mason Type II and Type III fresh closed radial head fractures were included in the study.
Group I consisted of 20 patients who underwent radial head excision and Group II consisted of 20 patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation with mini screws. Patients were reviewed at postoperative week 3, 6 and 24. Radiographs were taken and functional outcome assessment of the elbow was done during all the follow ups. Elbow physiotherapy was started on postoperative week three. Scoring of elbow function was done as per the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scoring system. Results were tabulated, compared and analysed statistically using the ‘chi-square test’.
Results: At the end of six months, the patients of the open reduction and internal fixation group had lower DASH scores (4.82±2.73 points) than the radial head excision group (14.23±5.60 points). This inferred that patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation had better functional outcomes than the excision group. Complications of proximal radial migration was noted in three patients, elbow osteoarthritis was noted in two and periarticular ossification was noted in six patients who underwent radial head excision.
Conclusion: Open reduction and internal fixation of Mason Type II and Type III radial head fractures is a better management technique as compared to radial head excision for management of Mason Type II and III radial head fractures.