Reliability of recommendations to reduce a fracture of the distal radius
SourceActa Orthopaedica Scandinavica, 92, 2, (2021), pp. 131-136
Article / Letter to editor
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Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Background and purpose - It is unclear what degree of malalignment of a fracture of the distal radius benefits from reduction. This study addressed the following questions: (1) What is the interobserver reliability of surgeons concerning the recommendation for a reduction for dorsally displaced distal radius fractures? (2) Do expert-based criteria for reduction improve reliability or not?Methods - We sent out 2 surveys to a group of international hand and fracture surgeons. On the first survey, 80 surgeons viewed radiographs of 95 dorsally displaced (0° to 25°) fractures of the distal radius. The second survey randomized 68 participants to either receive or not receive expert-based criteria for when to reduce a fracture and then viewed 20 radiographs of fractures with dorsal angulation between 5° and 15°. All participants needed to indicate whether they would advise a reduction or not.Results - In the 1st study, the interrater reliability of advising a reduction was fair (kappa 0.31). Multivariable linear regression analyses indicated that each additional degree of dorsal angulation increased the chance of recommending a reduction by 3%. In the 2nd study, reading criteria for reduction did not increase interobserver reliability for recommending a reduction.Interpretation - There is notable variation in recommendations for reduction that is not accounted for by surgeon or patient factors and is not diminished by exposure to expert criteria. Surgeons should be aware of their biases and develop strategies to inform patients and share the decision regarding whether to reduce a fracture of the distal radius.
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