Introduction: Augmented external fixation and Open reduction with volar locking plate are two frequently used modalities in the management of intraarticular fractures of distal end radius. However, there is still controversy regarding the optimal surgical modality. The present study was performed to compare the functional and radiological outcomes ofAugmented External Fixation (AEF) versus Volar Plate Fixation (VPF) in the management of patients with intraarticular fractures of the distal end of the radius.
Materials and Methods: This prospective study was done between December 2019 and December 2021. This study included 40 patients with intraarticular fractures of the distal end of the radius. All patients fulfilling inclusion criteria were randomly allocated into two groups. Group A was treated with an AEF and Group B with VPF. Functional assessment was done by measuring the wrist range of motion, hand grip strength, and Mayo Wrist Score. The radiographic parameters included radial height, radial inclination, and volar tilt. Follow-up was done at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months post-operatively.
Results: In our study at all follow-ups, the VPF group had a significantly better Mayo wrist score and wrist flexion, wrist extension, forearm supination, and pronation compared to the AEF group (p< 0.05). There were no significant differences in terms of hand grip strength and postoperative radiological parameters (p> 0.05).
Conclusion: VPF is a better surgical option as compared to AEF based on our short-term functional outcome in the management of patients with intraarticular fractures of the distal end of radius, on account of better wrist flexion and extension, forearm rotation and Mayo wrist scores, and fewer complication rates.