Bone and Joint Institute

Effects of gender, age, and time on wrist pain up to two years following distal radius fracture

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Critical Reviews in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine





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© 2020 by Begell House, Inc. Distal radius fractures (DRFs) represent the highest incidence of orthopedic frac-tures. The pattern of pain recovery following injury is an important clinical benchmark, as is understanding whether age or gender influences the process. The purpose of this study is to determine whether age or gender influences pain in individuals after a DRF for up to 2 yr postfracture. We use a mixed hierarchal analysis to determine whether differences resulting from age and/or gender occur in the pain subscale of a patient-rated wrist evaluation. At 2, 3, 6, 12, and 24 mo after surgical or nonsurgical fracture, we analyzed 1508 participants with a mean age of 53.5 yr (standard deviation = 16.3). The majority were female (70%), and most had injured their left hand (52.9%). Pain scores progressively improved, but we found no statistical differences in pain by age or gender. However, the following categories showed more statistically significant DRFs: ages 51–66 (Z = 2.83; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6 to 9.1; p = 0.05) and female gender (Z = 2.84; 95% CI = 1.7 to 9.3; p = 0.05). Increased DRFs occurred in females aged 51–65, but they experienced lower levels of pain than their male counterparts. Pain slowly decreased over time, with significant pain reductions at 6 and 12 mo postfracture.

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