The Radial Bow following Square Nailing in Radius and Ulna Shaft Fractures in Adults and its Relation to Disability and Function
One of the points made against nailing in radius and ulna shaft fractures has been the loss of radial bow and its impact on function. The aims of the study were to assess the change in magnitude and location of the radial bow in radius and ulna shaft fractures treated with intramedullary square nails and to assess the impact of this change on functional outcome, patient reported disability and the range of motion of the forearm. We measured the magnitude of radial bow and its location in the operated extremity and compared it to the uninjured side in 32 adult patients treated with intramedullary square nailing for radius and ulna shaft fractures at our institute. The mean loss of magnitude of maximum radial bow was 2.18 mm which was statistically significant by both student-T test and Mann-Whitney U test with p value less than 0.01. The location of maximum radial bow shifted distally but was statistically insignificant. The magnitude of maximum radial bow had a negative correlation with DASH score that was statistically insignificant (R=- 0.22, p=0.21). It had a positive, statistically significant correlation to the extent of supination in the operated extremity (R = 0.66, p = 0.0004). A loss of up to 2mm of radial bow did not influence the functional outcome as assessed by criteria reported by Anderson et al. The magnitude of radial bow influenced the supination of the forearm but not the final disability as measured by DASH score. Intramedullary nailing did decrease the magnitude of radial bow but a reduction of up to 2mm did not influence the functional outcome.
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