Olecranon Osteotomy by a Gigli Saw versus Chevron’s Osteotomy for Exposure of Intra-articular Distal Humerus: A Comparative Study
Introduction: Olecranon osteotomy is employed for the fixation of intraarticular distal humeral fractures. We conducted a prospective, randomised study comparing Chevron’s osteotomy with olecranon osteotomy by a Gigli saw for exposure of the intraarticular distal humerus in terms of functional outcome and intra-operative ease of the surgery.
Materials and methods: Thirty patients with skeletally mature AO/OTA type 13- B and 13-C distal humerus fractures were randomly allocated to Chevron’s or Gigli saw groups. Each group consisted of a total of 15 patients. Both the groups were assessed on post-operative parameters including arm, shoulder or hand pain, ability to perform certain routine activities, tingling sensations and pain while sleeping.
Results: In the Gigli saw group, 12 patients had no gross limitation of activity and 13 were able to perform moderate activities with ease. Similar results were observed in the Chevron’s group. The mean difference between the two groups in Oxford Score was 0.60, within the 95% confidence interval and in line with QuickDASH-11 Score.
Conclusion: Chevron’s technique offers stability and better healing, providing a larger surface area for bone union. However, it is challenging and time-consuming. Also, literature suggests that the Gigli saw has multiple benefits, saves time and effort, and heals by switching blood supply from centrifugal to centripetal post-operatively. Our study suggests that both Chevron’s technique and the use of the Gigli saw are effective in distal humeral intra-articular fractures as assessed by multiple parameters. Hence both techniques can be equally used depending on the surgeon’s preference.
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