The aim of this study was to determine the difference in functional outcomes after open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with and without arthroscopic debridement in adults with displaced intra-articular distal radius fractures. In this multicentre trial, 50 patients were randomized between ORIF with or without arthroscopic debridement. The primary outcome measure was the Patient-Rated Wrist Evaluation (PRWE) score. Secondary outcome measures were Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire, pain scores, range of wrist motion, grip strength, and complications. Median PRWE was worse for the intervention group at 3 months and was equal for both groups at 12 months. The secondary outcome measures did not show consistent patterns of differences at different time-points of follow-up. We conclude that patients treated with additional arthroscopy to remove intra-articular hematoma and debris did not have better outcomes than those treated with ORIF alone. We therefore do not recommend arthroscopy for removal of hematoma and debris when surgically fixing distal radius fractures. Level of evidence: I

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VSNU Open Access deal
Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume)
Department of Orthopaedics

Selles, C., Mulders, M., Colaris, J., van Heijl, M., Cleffken, B., & Schep, N. (2019). Arthroscopic debridement does not enhance surgical treatment of intra-articular distal radius fractures: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Hand Surgery (European Volume). doi:10.1177/1753193419866128