The influence of non-union on the outcome of distal radius fractures is debated. We tested the null hypothesis that there is no difference in pain, wrist function, or instability between patients with union or non-union of an ulnar styloid base fracture after operative treatment of a fracture of the distal radius. Eighteen adults with an ulnar styloid base non-union were compared to 16 patients with union of an ulnar styloid base fracture with a mean post-operative follow-up of 30 months. None of the patients had distal radioulnar joint instability, there were no significant differences in pain, complications, or function, and patients with nonunion had significantly greater grip strength. Ulnar styloid nonunion is not associated with pain, instability, or diminished function after fracture of the distal radius
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