Comparison of the Rate of Nerve Injury after Posterior and Anterior Approaches in Fractures of Proximal Half of Radius in Adults

Document Type: Original Article


Assistant Professor of Orthopeadics, Kerman University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Kerman, Iran


This clinical study was carried out to compare the rate of nerve complications after anterior and posterior approaches in forearm both bone fractures in adults. For this purpose, 310 patients with forearm both bone fractures operated during 1997-2002 in Kerman Shahid Bahonar Hospital were studied. From these patients, 121 cases werefemale and 189 cases were male and they were aged from 12 to 67 years old with the average of 43.2 years. In 170 patients (54.8%) fractures were in the proximal fourth and in 140 patients in the middle fourth. In 283 cases nerves were intact, while 27 cases (18.7%) had nerve palsy of whom 24 cases had radial nerve palsy and 3 cases had median nerve palsy. Among patients with nerve injury, 5 cases had been operated with anterior approach and 20 cases with posterior approach. In 9 cases regeneration of the damaged nerves occurred in the first month, in 12 cases in the second month and in 3 cases in the third month and three cases had no evidence of regeneration at the end of sixth month. Based on the results, radial nerve palsy is more frequent in the posterior approach comparing to the anterior approach and this difference is statistically significant. Therefore the anterior approach for decreasing nerve damage is recommended.