Simultaneous Fractures of the Ipsilateral Scaphoid and Distal Radius

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Abstract

Background

Ipsilateral fractures of the distal radius and scaphoid are rare, with few reports describing mechanisms of injury, fracture patterns, and treatment approaches.

Purpose

This article describes the clinical and radiographic features of ipsilateral distal radius and scaphoid fractures occurring simultaneously.

Materials and Methods

Electronic databases from 2007 to 2017 at a single Level 1 trauma center were reviewed for patients with concurrent fractures of the distal radius and scaphoid. Patient demographics, injury mechanism, scaphoid and distal radius fracture pattern, treatment approach, and radiographic healing were studied.

Results

Twenty-three patients were identified. Nineteen of the 23 (83%) were males, and 19 of 23 (83%) of the injury mechanisms were considered high energy. Twenty-two of the 23 (96%) scaphoid fractures were nondisplaced, all treated with screw fixation. Most distal radius fractures were displaced and comminuted, 17 of 23 (74%) were intra-articular. All distal radius fractures were treated surgically with internal and/or external fixation. Three patients were lost to follow-up. Average follow-up of the remaining 20 was to 19.8 weeks. Nineteen of the 20 (95%) scaphoids healed, one scaphoid went on to nonunion with avascular necrosis. All 20 radius fractures healed, 16 of 20 (80%) in anatomic alignment.

Conclusion

Ipsilateral fractures of the distal radius and scaphoid are rare and are usually result of high-energy mechanisms. The scaphoid fracture is usually a nondisplaced fracture at the waist. The distal radius fracture pattern varies but most are displaced and comminuted. The union rate of the scaphoid is high, even if subjected to radiocarpal distraction required for distal radius management.

Level of Evidence

Therapeutic level IV study.

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