Improved Outcomes in Operative Management of Concomitant Distal Radius and Scaphoid Fractures

Luke Verlinsky, Clinton Ulmer, Alec Rose, Christina Brady, Ryan Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study aims to investigate the characteristics of concomitant distal radius and scaphoid fractures and determine outcome differences of operative and nonoperative management. Methods: A retrospective search of a level-1 trauma center’s database over a 15-year period (2007-2022) for concomitant distal radius and scaphoid fractures in adult patients was completed. In all, 31 cases were reviewed for mechanism of injury, method of fracture management, distal radius fracture AO Foundation/Orthopaedic Trauma Association classification, scaphoid fracture classification, time to radiographic scaphoid union, time to motion, and other demographics. A multivariate statistical analysis was completed comparing outcomes in operative versus conservative management of the scaphoid fracture in these patients. Outcomes were defined as time to radiographic union and time to motion. Results: In all, 22 cases of operative fixation of the scaphoid and 9 cases of nonoperative management of the scaphoid were reviewed. One case of nonunion was identified in the operative group. Operative management of scaphoid fractures resulted in a statistically significant reduction in time to motion (2-week reduction) and time to radiographic union (8-week reduction). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that operative management of scaphoid fractures in the setting of a concomitant distal radius fracture reduces the time to radiographic union and time to clinical motion. This suggests that operative management is ideal in patients who are good candidates for surgery and desire earlier return of motion. However, conservative management should be considered, as nonoperative care showed no statistical difference regarding union rates of scaphoid or distal radius fractures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • concomitant fractures
  • distal radius
  • fracture/dislocation
  • outcomes
  • research & health outcomes
  • scaphoid
  • treatment
  • wrist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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