Introduction: Wrist fractures are common in older adults and are expected to increase because of ageing populations worldwide. The introduction of plate and screw fixation has changed the management of this trauma in many patients. For policymaking it is essential to gain insight into trends in epidemiology and healthcare utilisation. The purpose of this study was to determine trends in incidence, hospitalisation and operative treatment of wrist fractures. Methods: A population-based study of patients aged 50 years and older using the Dutch National Injury Surveillance System and the National Hospital Discharge Registry. Data on emergency department visits, hospitalisations and operative treatment for wrist fractures within the period 1997-2009 were analysed. Results: In women, the age-standardised incidence rate of wrist fractures decreased from 497.2 per 100,000 persons (95% confidence interval, 472.3-522.1) in 1997 to 445.1 (422.8-467.4) in 2009 (P for trend <0.001). In men, no significant trends were observed in the same time period. Hospitalisation rates increased from 30.1 (28.3-31.9) in 1997 to 78.9 (75.1-82.8) in 2009 in women (P < 0.001), and from 6.4 (6.0-6.8) to 18.4 (17.3-19.5) in men (P < 0.001). There was a strong increase in operative treatment of distal radius fractures, especially due to plate fixation techniques in all age groups. Conclusion: Incidence rates of wrist fractures decreased in women and remained stable in men, but hospitalisation rates strongly increased due to a steep rise in operative treatments. The use of plate and screw fixation techniques for distal radius fractures increased in all age groups.

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Injury: international journal of the care of the injured
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

de Putter, D., Selles, R., Polinder, S., Hartholt, K., Looman, C., Panneman, M., … van Beeck, E. (2013). Epidemiology and health-care utilisation of wrist fractures in older adults in The Netherlands, 1997-2009. Injury: international journal of the care of the injured, 44(4), 421–426. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2012.10.025