Official publication of Rawalpindi Medical University
Comparison Of Prophylactic Injection Of Corticosteroid With Placebo, In Management Of Wrist Pain On Ulnar Aspect In Patients Of Fractures Of Distal Radius

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Fractures of distal radius, conservative treatment, Prophylactic corticosteroid injection, saline, side effects, complication, pain reduction

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Akhtar RR, Warraich UZ, Ahmed R, Haider M, Qammar MU, Khan AQ. Comparison Of Prophylactic Injection Of Corticosteroid With Placebo, In Management Of Wrist Pain On Ulnar Aspect In Patients Of Fractures Of Distal Radius. JRMC [Internet]. 2023 Sep. 26 [cited 2024 Jun. 25];27(3). Available from:



Distal radius fractures are one of the commonest fractures experienced by the Orthopaedic surgeons. Pain on the ulnar aspect of the wrist is the most usual complication of such fractures.  Corticosteroid injection is a simple and effective method for elevating pain of such nature. 

OBJECTIVE: To compare the mean pain score with prophylactic corticosteroid injection versus placebo in management of wrist pain on ulnar aspect in patients presenting with fracture of distal radius.


Study Design: Randomized controlled trial

Setting: Orthopedic Surgery Department, Benazir Bhutto Hospital, Rawalpindi

Duration: Six months (March 5, 2018 to Sept 5, 2018)

Data Collection Procedure:

80 patients were included by using non-probability consecutive sampling after fulfilling the selection criteria. Demographic profile (patient name, age, gender, anatomical side and contact details) was obtained. Patients were splitted in two random groups by simple lottery method. Patients of group A were given one shot of 80mg corticosteroid in the area of ulnar styloid process near TFCC and group B patients were given a shot of distilled water (2 cc). Both group of patients were followed in OPD for 3 months in their postoperative visits. Visual analogue scale (VAS) score was recorded. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 21.


The mean age of the patients was 41.05 ± 11.05 years and age range of 40 years. The mean age in the corticosteroid and placebo groups was 39.68±10.67 years and 42.42 ± 11.39 years respectively. There were 42 (52.50%) male and 38 (47.50%) female patients with a higher male ratio i.e., 1.10:1. In corticosteroid and placebo groups there were 21 (52.50%) male and 19 (47.50%) female cases. The mean pain at baseline was 7.72 ± 1.66 while in the corticosteroid and placebo group, the mean pain was 7.60 ± 1.67 and 7.85 ± 1.65 respectively with statistically equal mean pain p-value = 0.504. After 3 months of treatment, mean pain in the corticosteroid group was 1.30 ± 0.66 and was 2.60 ± 1.58 in the placebo group, p-value < 0.001.


Our findings suggested that prophylactic corticosteroid injection is more effective in reducing pain in patients with distal radial fracture than placebo. By using prophylactic corticosteroid injections in the future, we can reduce pain to achieve more satisfaction of patients.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Rahman Rasool Akhtar, Umer Zia Warraich, Riaz Ahmed, Muhammad Haider , Muhammad Umair Qammar, Armaghana Qamar Khan