Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Articles

Distal radius fractures: What are the effects of ulnar styloid fracture and face-toface rehabilitation on the functional outcome?


Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Vehbi Koç Foundation, American Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey


Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vehbi Koç Foundation, American Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul Esenyurt University, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Physiotherapy, Istanbul, Turkey

AOTT 2023; 57: 361-365
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2023.21245
Read: 706 Downloads: 144 Published: 05 January 2024

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of the accompanying ulnar styloid fracture and 2 different postoperative rehabilitation protocols on the final outcomes following surgical treatment of distal radius fractures.

Methods: In this retrospective study, 47 patients (11 male, 35 female; mean age=52.6 years, age range=24-85) who underwent plate fixation for distal radius fractures were divided into 4 groups based on the presence of an ulnar styloid fracture and type of rehabilitation. To evaluate clinical outcomes, wrist range of motion (ROM), grip strength, lateral pinch strength, disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) questionnaire scores and visual analog scale (VAS) scores were obtained at the final follow-up. The rehabilitation exercises of the patients in groups 1 and 2 were carried out in the physical therapy room by the hand therapist during the postoperative 2 months. Patients in groups 3 and 4 were supplied with videos of the exercises of each phase and instructed to carry out those exercises at home routinely.

Results: Patients who received home rehabilitation programs demonstrated greater grip strength loss. Patients without accompanying ulnar styloid fractures had better DASH and VAS scores. Final wrist ROM and the duration for return to preinjury activity level did not differ among groups.

Conclusion: This study has suggested that accompanying ulnar styloid fractures may worsen the functional outcomes after plate fixation of distal radius fractures. Home-based programs may provide patients with adequate overall wrist function with certain drawbacks compared to rehabilitation under direct supervision.

Cite this article as: Ozben H, Uludag S, Ataker Y, Comert Ece S, Gudemez E. Distal radius fractures: What are the effects of ulnar styloid fracture and face-to-face rehabilitation on the functional outcome? Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc., 2023;57(6):361-365.

ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294