Acta Med. 2019, 62: 19-23

Nightstick Fractures, Outcomes of Operative and Non-Operative Treatment

Mohammed Ali, D. I. Clark, Amole Tambe

Royal Derby Hospital, Derby, United Kingdom

Received January 14, 2018
Accepted November 8, 2018

Introduction: A nightstick fracture is an isolated fracture of the ulnar shaft. Although operative and non-operative treatments have been commonly decided by the degree of displacement of the fracture, still there is a controversy specially in those moderately displaced. Herein we report our experience with nightstick fractures. Objective: To evaluate operative and non-operative treatment of nightstick fracture. Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical notes, physiotherapy letters and radiographs of 52 patients with isolated ulnar shaft fractures. Outcome Measurements included radiographic healing, post-operative range of motion and complications. Results: The study included 13 females and 39 males, with a mean age of 26 years [range, 18–93 years]. The mean Follow-up period was 32 months ranged from 12 to 54 months. Ten patients were treated non-operatively; forty-two patients had open reduction and internal fixation including six open fractures. The average wait for surgery was 2.5 days. Mobilisation was commenced immediately after the surgeries non-load bearing. 40 patients had no complications post-operatively with good outcome and average of four visits follow-up. In the non-operative group, five out ten failed and had a mean follow-up of nine visits. Conclusion: Satisfactory outcome is to be expected with open reduction and internal fixation. Fractures with less than 50% displacement should be treated on individual bases, considering; age, pre-morbid functional status, co-morbidities, compliance and associated injuries.


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