BACKGROUND: Fractures of the distal radius are among the most common fractures in orthopedic practice. The purpose of our study was to explore the advantages and disadvantages of two methods of treatment for this type of fracture. METHODS: One hundred thirteen fractures of the distal radius have been operated; 49 fractures were treated with an external fixator and 64 fractures by internal fixation using a "pi" plate. The mean follow-up was 12 months. Clinical evaluation was performed using the modified Gartland and Werley's Functional Scoring System. Radiographic evaluation was performed using the modified Lidstrom Radiographic Scoring System. RESULTS: Clinical results were similar between the two groups of patients (p = 0.46). Radiographic parameters were superior in the group of patients treated with open reduction and internal fixation (p = 0.028). CONCLUSIONS: Final functional results are comparable between external fixation and dorsal "pi" plating.
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