J Korean Med Sci.  2017 Jul;32(7):1181-1186. 10.3346/jkms.2017.32.7.1181.

National Surgical Trends for Distal Radius Fractures in Korea

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. leegh@hanyang.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Eulji University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hallym University College of Medicine, Hwaseong, Korea.
  • 5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea.


The objective of this study was to investigate national surgical trends for distal radius fractures (DRFs) in Korea and analyze healthcare institution type-specific surgical trends. We analyzed a nationwide database acquired from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) from 2011 to 2015. International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10) codes and procedure codes were used to identify patients aged ≥ 20 years with newly diagnosed DRFs. A total of 459,388 DRFs occurred from 2011 to 2015. The proportion of DRF cases treated by surgery tended to increase over time, from 32.6% in 2011 to 38.3% in 2015 (P < 0.001). Open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) using a plate steadily gained in popularity each year, increasing from 39.2% of overall surgeries in 2011 to 60.9% in 2015. The type of surgery for DRFs differed depending on the type of healthcare institution. ORIF (91%) was the most popular procedure in tertiary hospitals, whereas percutaneous pinning (58%) was most popular in clinics. In addition, general hospitals and hospitals with 30-100 beds used external fixation more frequently than tertiary hospitals and clinics did. Overall, our findings indicate that surgical treatment of DRF, particularly ORIF, continues to increase, and that the component ratio of operation codes differed according to the healthcare institution type.


Distal Radius Fracture; Epidemiology; Surgery; Trend

MeSH Terms

Delivery of Health Care
Hospitals, General
Insurance, Health
International Classification of Diseases
Radius Fractures*
Tertiary Care Centers
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