Minimally Displaced Distal Radius Fractures: Do They Need Plaster Treatment

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In a prospective, randomized trial, minimally displaced distal radius fractures were divided into two groups:those treated with plaster immobilization for 1 week compared with 3 weeks. Functional Cooney scores were determined at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. No statistical differences could be found in functional outcome between the groups at any time during the evaluation. Although patients did not allow immediate functional treatment in the presence of a fracture, we could not find any differences between 1 week or 3 weeks of plaster treatment. No further dislocation occurred, and all patients experienced eventful healing with good and excellent results in 92% of the cases. We believe, therefore, that only minimal immobilization is required in these fractures and that they should be mobilized as soon as comfort allows.

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