Applicability of the AAOS appropriate-use criteria for distal radius fractures in surgical practice

Talal Ibrahim*, Osama M.S. Aldahamsheh, Abdelsalam Hegazy, Hassan M.K. Ghomrawi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The appropriate-use criteria (AUC) for distal radius fracture (DRF) was developed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) to aid surgeons in making evidence-based treatment decisions for DRFs. The aim of our study was to cross-reference the management of operatively treated DRFs with the web-based AAOS published AUC recommendations. Methods: The AUC for DRF evaluates the appropriateness of ten treatment options for each of 240 mutually exclusive patient scenarios based on the combination of five factors. For every scenario, each treatment is classified as appropriate, maybe appropriate or rarely appropriate. We retrospectively reviewed the medical charts and radiographs of all adult patients ≥19 years who underwent surgery for DRFs between 1 January and 31 December 2014 and determined the rate of appropriateness of treatment in this consecutive series of patients. Results: Over the study period, 108 patients (83.3% men; mean age 39.8 years) with 113 DRFs (five bilateral) were treated surgically. The most frequent scenario was represented by a type C fracture, high-energy mechanism, normal functional demand, American Society Anesthesiologists (ASA) status 1–3 and no associated injuries. The most frequently used treatment was volar locking plate (54.0%). Based on the AUC, treatment was appropriate for 96 cases (85.0%), maybe appropriate for 15 (13.2%), and rarely appropriate for two (1.8%). Conclusions: A web-based electronic AUC application can be an attractive and easy decision-making aid for orthopaedic surgeons. Application of the AUC to clinical data was relatively simple, and most operatively treated DRFs were managed appropriately. Level of Evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Appropriate-use criteria
  • Clinical practice
  • Distal radius fracture
  • Operative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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