Treatment options in extra-articular distal radius fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Guido W. Van Oijen, Esther M.M. Van Lieshout*, Maarten R.L. Reijnders, Anand Appalsamy, Tjebbe Hagenaars, Michael H.J. Verhofstad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This systematic literature review aimed to make a detailed overview on the clinical and functional outcomes and to get insight into the possible superiority of a treatment method for extra-articular distal radius fractures. Methods: Embase, Medline, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched for studies describing treatment results. Five treatment modalities were compared: plaster cast immobilization, K-wire fixation, volar plating, external fixation, and intramedullary fixation. Results: Out of 7,054 screened studies, 109 were included in the analysis. Overall complication rate ranged from 9% after plaster cast treatment to 18.5% after K-wire fixation. For radiographic outcomes, only volar tilt in the plaster cast group was lower than in the other groups. Apart from better grip strength after volar plating, no clear functional differences were found across treatment groups. Conclusion: Current literature does not provide uniform evidence to prove superiority of a particular treatment method when looking at complications, re-interventions, and long-term functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4333-4348
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mr. W.M. Bramer, Biomedical information specialist at the Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) for assistance with the literature search.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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