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Radioulnar laxity and clinical outcome after a distal radius fracture do not correlate after a distal radius fracture
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre for Surgery, Orthopaedics and Cancer Treatment, Department of Orthopaedics in Linköping.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Hand Surgery - British and European Volume, ISSN 0266-7681, E-ISSN 1532-2211, Vol. 36, no 6, 503-508 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex associated with distal radius fracture may cause symptoms of ulnar instability. Assessed by a radioulnar stress test, increased laxity of the distal radio-ulnar joint has in two previous studies been depicted to be associated with poorer outcome. This prospective study of 40 adults investigates the correlation of this test with functional outcome as measured by DASH. No clinically significant difference was found in relation to this test at two and five years after injury. Therefore using this test alone to decide whether or not to perform an acute repair of the TFCC cannot be recommended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Journals online , 2011. Vol. 36, no 6, 503-508 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult, Prospective trial, Distal radius fractures, Triangular fibrocartilage complex, Radioulnar stress test, DRU joint instability
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67919DOI: 10.1177/1753193411403690OAI: diva2:414227
On the day of the defence date the status of this article was "Epub ahead of print".Available from: 2011-05-04 Created: 2011-05-02 Last updated: 2011-08-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Periulnar Injuries Associated with Distal Radius Fractures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Periulnar Injuries Associated with Distal Radius Fractures
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Residual dysfunction after a fracture of the distal radius is most often mild but may give rise to significant impairment especially in the younger active population. The symptoms often manifest around the distal ulna when loading the hand or rotating the forearm. In this region are found articular and soft tissue connections running from the distal ulna to the distal radius as well as to the ulnar side of the carpus. The aims of this thesis were to investigate the effects of distal radius fractures on the structures about the distal ulna and to what extent malunion and ulnar soft tissue lesions affect function. Both patients and cadaver specimens were used in the five different studies.

In a retrospective study of 17 malunited distal radius fractures supination impairment improved significantly by correction of the skeletal malunion. This highlights the importance of distal radioulnar joint congruity for forearm rotation in a subset of cases.

The pathomechanisms of injury to the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) were studied. In a cadaveric distal radius fracture model different restraining properties and injury patterns were investigated. Similar patterns of injury were then observed in 20 patients with a displaced distal radius fracture. It was found that a TFCC injury can be expected with dorsal displacement of the distal radius fragment of 32o or more from the anatomically correct position. The distribution of a TFCC injury apparently differs depending on the size of an associated ulnar styloid fracture. In cases of an intact ulnar styloid or a concomitant tip fracture (Type 1) the first stage of injury seems to be extensor carpi ulnaris subsheath separation from the distal ulna and the dorsal radioulnar ligament. Thereafter follows a disruption of the deep insertions into the fovea of the ulna starting from the palmar and extending dorsally and radially. An extensive injury can be detected with a novel non-invasive test called the ‘bald ulnar head test’, which is performed under anaesthesia.

Diagnosis of an acute TFCC injury is difficult using non-invasive methods. In a prospective study of 48 patients, CT scanning to detect pathologic subluxation was found to be of little use in both acute and chronic cases, and is therefore not endorsed on this indication. A radioulnar stress test, which in previous studies has correlated well to a deep TFCC injury, was found to be highly reliable but not to correspond with significant disability in self-administered questionnaires of functional outcome two years or more after injury. This indicates that the subset of patients possibly benefiting from acute repair must be identified by other means.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 66 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1236
Triangular fibrocartilage complex, Distal radius fractures, Wrist injuries, Distal radioulnar joint, Ulnocarpal stability
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67998 (URN)978-91-7393-201-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-06-03, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitete, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-05-10 Created: 2011-05-04 Last updated: 2012-05-29Bibliographically approved

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Johan, ScheerLars, Adolfsson
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Orthopaedics and Sports MedicineFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Orthopaedics in Linköping
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Journal of Hand Surgery - British and European Volume

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