Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 14 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Computed Tomography vs Standard Radiograph in Preoperative Planning of Distal Radius Fractures with Articular Involvement

Matheus L Azi, Marcelo B Teixeira, Suedson F de Carvalho, Armando A de Almeida Teixeira, Ricardo B Cotias

Keywords : Distal radius fracture, Fracture fixation, Intra-articular fractures, Radiography, Tomography, X-ray computed

Citation Information : Azi ML, Teixeira MB, de Carvalho SF, de Almeida Teixeira AA, Cotias RB. Computed Tomography vs Standard Radiograph in Preoperative Planning of Distal Radius Fractures with Articular Involvement. 2019; 14 (1):15-19.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10080-1420

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-08-2014

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Introduction: Distal radius fractures with articular involvement are more likely to require surgical management. Treatment decisions are based on parameters which are obtained from plain radiographs. This study aims to determine the differences between computed tomography and standard radiographs in the preoperative planning of distal radius fractures with articular involvement. This was performed by measuring the intraobserver and interobserver reliability between three systems used to interpret the main fracture characteristics and two treatment decisions. Materials and methods: Forty-three cases of distal radius fractures with articular involvement were included. Fracture displacement was measured using plain radiographic and computed tomography. Five orthopedic surgeons evaluate the images to determine the AO/OTA classification, the articular fragments, the biomechanical columns involved, and recommend a surgical approach and implant for fracture fixation. Results: An articular step-off was identified in 13 cases (30%) with the standard radiographs and in 22 (51%) cases with the computed tomography (p = 0.00). Interobserver variation for preoperative planning was slight when evaluated using the standard radiographs. Computed tomography improves reliability for AO/OTA classification and articular fragments but not for the biomechanical columns. Intraobserver variation for preoperative planning was slight to moderate for AO/OTA classification and slight to fair for identification of articular fragments and biomechanical columns. With regard to selection of the surgical approach, there was slight to moderate variation and, finally, for fracture fixation it was slight to fair. Conclusion: Information provided by conventional radiography and computed tomography are sufficiently different as to induce the surgeon to select different treatments for the same fracture.

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