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The Bone & Joint Journal
Vol. 97-B, Issue 9 | Pages 1264 - 1270
1 Sep 2015
Karantana A Scammell BE Davis TRC Whynes DK

This study compares the cost-effectiveness of treating dorsally displaced distal radial fractures with a volar locking plate and percutaneous fixation. It was performed from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS) using data from a single-centre randomised controlled trial. In total 130 patients (18 to 73 years of age) with a dorsally displaced distal radial fracture were randomised to treatment with either a volar locking plate (n = 66) or percutaneous fixation (n = 64). The methodology was according to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance for technology appraisals. .

There were no significant differences in quality of life scores between groups at any time point in the study. Both groups returned to baseline one year post-operatively.

NHS costs for the plate group were significantly higher (p < 0.001, 95% confidence interval 497 to 930). For an additional £713, fixation with a volar locking plate offered 0.0178 additional quality-adjusted life years in the year after surgery. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) for plate fixation relative to percutaneous fixation at list price was £40 068. When adjusting the prices of the implants for a 20% hospital discount, the ICER was £31 898. Patients who underwent plate fixation did not return to work earlier.

We found no evidence to support the cost-effectiveness, from the perspective of the NHS, of fixation using a volar locking plate over percutaneous fixation for the operative treatment of a dorsally displaced radial fracture.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:1264–70.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 90-B, Issue 5 | Pages 629 - 637
1 May 2008
Forward DP Davis TRC Sithole JS

Fractures of the distal radius occurring in young adults are treated increasingly by open surgical techniques, partly because of concern that failure to restore the alignment of the fracture accurately may cause symptomatic post-traumatic osteoarthritis in future years. We reviewed 106 adults who had sustained a fracture of the distal radius between 1960 and 1968 and who were below the age of 40 years at the time of injury. We carried out a clinical and radiological assessment at a mean follow-up of 38 years (33 to 42).

No patient had required a salvage procedure. While there was radiological evidence of post-traumatic osteoarthritis after an intra-articular fracture in 68% of patients (27 of 40), the disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) scores were not different from population norms, and function, as assessed by the Patient Evaluation Measure, was impaired by less than 10%. Ordinal logistic regression analysis showed a significant relationship between narrowing of the joint space and extra-articular malunion (dorsal angulation and radial shortening) as well as intra-articular injury. Multivariate analysis revealed that grip strength had fallen to 89% of that of the uninjured side in the presence of dorsal malunion, but no measure of extra-articular malunion was significantly related to either the Patient Evaluation Measure or DASH scores.

While anatomical reduction is the principal aim of treatment, imperfect reduction of these fractures may not result in symptomatic arthritis in the long term, and this should be considered when counselling patients on the risks and benefits of the many treatment options available.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 86-B, Issue 5 | Pages 705 - 713
1 Jul 2004
Bhat M McCarthy M Davis TRC Oni JA Dawson S

We treated 50 patients with fractures of the waist of the scaphoid in a below-elbow plaster cast for up to 13 weeks. Displacement of the fragments was assessed independently by two observers using MRI and radiographs performed within two weeks of injury.

The MRI assessments showed that only the measurement of sagittal translation of the fragments and an overall assessment of displacement had satisfactory inter- and intra-observer reproducibility and revealed that nine of the 50 fractures were displaced. Only three of the 49 fractures with adequate follow-up failed to unite, and all were displaced with more than 1 mm of translation in the sagittal plane. If the MRI assessment of displacement of the fracture was used as the measurement of choice, assessment of displacement on the initial scaphoid series of radiographs showed a sensitivity of between 33% and 47% and a positive predictive value of between 27% and 86%. Neither observer was able correctly to identify more than 33% to 47% of the displaced fractures from the plain radiographs. Although the overall assessment of displacement and gapping and translation in the coronal plane on the plain radiographs influenced the rate of union, none of these parameters identified all three fractures which failed to unite.

We conclude that the assessment of displacement of scaphoid fractures on MRI can probably be used to assess the likelihood of union although the small number of nonunions limits the power of the study. In contrast, the assessment of displacement on routine radiography is inaccurate and of less value in predicting union.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 83-B, Issue 6 | Pages 809 - 814
1 Aug 2001
Dawson JS Martel AL Davis TRC

We have investigated whether assessment of blood flow to the proximal scaphoid can be used to predict nonunion in acute fractures of the scaphoid. We studied 32 fractures of the scaphoid one to two weeks after injury, by dynamic fat-suppressed T1-weighted gradient-echo MRI after the intravenous administration of gadopentetate dimeglumine (0.1 mmol/kg body-weight). Steepest slope values (SSV) and percentage enhancement values (%E) were calculated for the distal and proximal fragments and poles. All the fractures were treated by immobilisation in a cast, and union was assessed by CT at 12 weeks.

Nonunion occurred in four fractures (12%), and there was no statistically significant difference between the proximal fragment SSV and %E values for the fractures which united and those with nonunion. The difference between the proximal pole SSV and %E values for the union and nonunion groups reached statistical significance (p < 0.05), but with higher enhancement parameters for the nonunion group. Our results suggest that poor proximal vascularity is not an important determinant of union in fractures of the scaphoid.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 3 | Pages 462 - 462
1 Apr 2000

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 5 | Pages 868 - 870
1 Sep 1999
Chell J Stevens A Davis TRC

We studied 58 women of employable age with the carpal tunnel syndrome in order to determine whether the histological appearances of the carpal tunnel, tenosynovium and flexor retinaculum are influenced by work practices. Age, body mass index and the duration of symptoms did not correlate with the extent of oedema or fibrosis within the tenosynovium. The incidence of abnormality on histological examination of the tenosynovium was the same in employed and unemployed patients (p = 1.0), and was not influenced by the level of repetition (p = 0.89) or force (p = 0.29) of work. Myxoid degeneration within the flexor retinaculum was, however, more common in women undertaking ‘high-force’ work. Apart from this finding, the results suggest that work practices do not affect tenosynovial thickening, fibrosis or oedema in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 5 | Pages 934 - 934
1 Sep 1999

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 81-B, Issue 1 | Pages 91 - 92
1 Jan 1999
Hambidge JE Desai VV Schranz PJ Compson JP Davis TRC Barton NJ

Acute fractures of the scaphoid were randomly allocated for conservative treatment in a Colles’-type plaster cast with the wrist immobilised in either 20° flexion or 20° extension. The position of the wrist did not influence the rate of union of the fracture (89%) but when reviewed after six months the wrists which had been immobilised in flexion had a greater restriction of extension. We recommend that acute fractures of the scaphoid should be treated in a Colles’-type cast with the wrist in slight extension.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 80-B, Issue 5 | Pages 907 - 908
1 Sep 1998
Hutchinson JW Tierney GM Parsons SL Davis TRC

In a series of 12 patients with inoperable gastric carcinoma who had treatment with a synthetic matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (Marimastat) for more than one month, six developed a frozen shoulder or a condition resembling Dupuytren’s disease.

This suggests that the matrix metalloproteinases, a family of naturally occurring proteinases, may be involved in the pathogenesis of these two conditions. Our observation opens avenues for further research which could lead to local or systemic therapeutic interventions for frozen shoulder and Dupuytren’s disease.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 80-B, Issue 4 | Pages 631 - 635
1 Jul 1998
Clark DI Chell J Davis TRC

We have reviewed 11 patients with congenital absence of the thumb, treated by pollicisation of the index finger, after follow-up for 20 to 38 years. Seven of the hands also had an associated radial club-hand deformity.

Function as assessed by the Percival score was excellent in six, good in three, fair in two and poor in four; three of the poor results were in patients with radial club hand. Ten of the 15 transfers were used as normal thumbs, but in five hands function required trick movements. Of the seven unilateral cases, two transplants were used as the dominant hand, and in another two thumb strength was more than 50% of that on the opposite side.

For patients with isolated congenital absence of the thumb, pollicisation of the index finger gives good functional and cosmetic results which are maintained. The results are less reliable for those with radial club hand.