Augmentation of distal radius fracture fixation with coralline hydroxyapatite bone graft substitute

J Hand Surg Am. 1999 Jul;24(4):816-27. doi: 10.1053/jhsu.1999.0816.


We implanted coralline hydroxyapatite bone graft as a substitute for autogenous bone graft to support the reduced articular surface of 21 consecutive patients with distal radius fractures treated with external fixation and K-wires. The purpose of this single-cohort retrospective study was to report the outcomes of treatment with this material, complications associated with its use, and its efficacy in supporting the articular surface reduction. Eighteen patients were available for independent evaluation of motion, subjective outcome analysis, and final radiographic analysis at an average of 35 months after surgery. Wrist motion averaged 90% of the uninjured wrist and grip strength measured 75% of the uninjured side. Results in 17 of the 18 cases were rated as good or excellent by the criteria of Gartland and Werley; 12 by the criteria of Green and O'Brien. Seventeen had good or excellent radiographic results by the modified Lidstrom radiographic scoring system. The average DASH functional/symptom score was 90.3 (maximum, 100). Radiographic parameters were restored to an average of 12 mm radial length, 4 degrees volar tilt, 23 degrees radial inclination, and 0.6 mm positive ulnar variance. Articular reduction was maintained in all patients. A complication related to the use of coral was a 0.5 mm prominence of coralline hydroxyapatite beyond the subchondral line at the radiocarpal joint in 1 patient, which was not present on final radiographs. Coralline hydroxyapatite was effective at maintaining articular surface reduction when used in combination with external fixation and K-wires and had a safety profile comparable to other forms of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Substitutes*
  • Bone Wires
  • Ceramics*
  • Colles' Fracture / diagnostic imaging
  • Colles' Fracture / surgery
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyapatites*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radius Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius Fractures / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wrist Joint / physiopathology


  • Bone Substitutes
  • Hydroxyapatites
  • coralline hydroxyapatite