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The Duke Orthopaedic Journal


Background: While there have been multiple studies published that have stressed the importance of restoring various different radiographic parameters to improve functional outcome scores, there is no consensus on the parameter that correlates most with patients’ functional outcomes. We hypothesize that obtaining near anatomical reduction of the palmar lunate facet is critical to improving functional outcome scores. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of reduction and stabilization of the palmar lunate facet on functional outcomes in patients with intra-articular distal radius fracture.

Materials and methods: We prospectively collected clinical examination data, radiographic measurements, and functional outcome scores on 157 patients who were treated operatively for multifragmentary intra-articular fractures of the distal radius (AO Type C3) between 1996 and 2006. Prospective data were acquired at 3, 6 months, and 1 year postsurgical intervention in clinical follow-up. Based on radiographic measurements, patients were designated into a nondisplaced palmar lunate facet group and a displaced palmar lunate facet group. Clinical and functional outcomes were then compared between the groups.

Results: Patients without displacement had a significantly higher value of wrist extension and forearm supination when compared with the patients with displacement. In addition, the Gartland and Werley score was significantly higher in patients with displacement of the palmar lunate facet.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that patients with near anatomical reduction of the palmar lunate facet after surgical treatment of an intra-articular distal radius fracture had improved range of motion and better functional outcome scores compared with patients with residual displacement of the palmar lunate facet.

keywords: Distal radius fracture, Lunate facet, Outcomes.

How to cite this article:Richard MJ, Lampley AJ, Patel PD, Nomides REK, Mithani SK, Leversedge FJ, Ruch DS. The Importance of the Palmar Lunate Facet in the Treatment of Distal Radius Fractures. The Duke Orthop J 2016;6(1):56-60.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

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