A functional outcomes survey of elderly patients who sustained distal radius fractures

Louis F. Amorosa, Mark A. Vitale, Shervondalonn Brown, Robert A. Kaufmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose This study aims to examine the subjective functional outcomes of patients 70 years or older who sustained distal radius fractures through the use of the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) and Short Form-8 Health (SF-8) surveys. Methods Patients at least 70 years old with a distal radius fracture between 2000 and 2004 were identified and their charts reviewed. They were contacted to answer the DASH and SF-8 surveys. The radiographic injury parameters examined were articular stepoff greater than 2 mm, dorsal tilt on the lateral radiograph, ulnar variance, and presence of an ulnar styloid fracture. Results Fifty-eight patients answered the DASH and SF-8 surveys. The mean age at the time of injury in the survey group was 78 years old (range 70-94 years). Mean follow-up period was 33 months (range 13-65 months). Average DASH and SF-8 scores were 22.3 (SD 22.4) and 31.5 (SD 6.9), respectively. DASH scores were inversely correlated with SF-8 scores (R = -0.65, p < 0.01). Patients who sustained an associated ulnar styloid fracture demonstrated worse DASH scores than those without an ulnar styloid fracture (presence of ulnar styloid fracture mean DASH 26.2, no ulnar styloid fracture mean DASH 12.9, p = 0.04). There were no significant differences in functional outcome for any other radiographic parameters assessed. Males had statistically better DASH scores than the females (males mean DASH 6.9, females mean DASH 24.4, p = 0.003). No difference was found in functional outcome scores among different treatment groups. Conclusion In elderly patients with distal radius fractures, the only radiographic parameter we found that affects functional outcome is an associated ulnar styloid fracture. Additionally, females had worse functional outcomes than males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-267
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Distal radius fractures
  • Elderly
  • Functional outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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