Treatment of distal radius fractures with a wrist-bridging external fixation: the value of alternating electric current stimulation

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2008 Oct;33(5):605-8. doi: 10.1177/1753193408092253. Epub 2008 Aug 11.


The radiological and functional outcomes of two groups of comminuted intraarticular fractures of the distal radius that were treated with wrist-bridging external fixation, with or without an alternating electric current stimulation (EF + ES or EF group, respectively), were compared. The radial length, radial inclination and palmar tilt were measured on radiographs taken immediately after removal of wrist external fixator and also after bone union had occurred. Furthermore, active range of motion was compared at the final consultation. Bridging callus was observed earlier postoperatively in the EF + ES group than in the EF group. The radial length and palmar tilt were significantly larger, and the loss of radial length and radial inclination significantly smaller, in the EF + ES group. We believe that callus maturation is enhanced by alternating electric current stimulation, which enables the early removal of external fixator.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Bony Callus / diagnostic imaging
  • Bony Callus / physiopathology
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • External Fixators*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation / instrumentation*
  • Fracture Healing
  • Fractures, Comminuted / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Comminuted / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Comminuted / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radius Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius Fractures / physiopathology
  • Radius Fractures / therapy*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Treatment Outcome