Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jennifer Radziak OTD OTR/L, CHT


Distal radius fractures (DRF) are the most commonly encountered fracture in clinical settings. Although the volar approach has gained recognition as the standard surgical treatment method to treat DRF there is still great debate as to what exactly the surgery should consist of. Individuals who suffer from a DRF have a high prevalence of developing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) (Cherubino, Bini, & Marcolli, 2010; Niver & Ilyas, 2012; Wang et al., 2018). Surgeons are unsure if individuals will benefit more from solely performing a volar open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) surgery or to perform the volar ORIF along with carpal tunnel release (CTR) in the same surgery procedure. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the functional outcomes between the two surgical approaches. There were two study groups; one with individuals who solely underwent a volar ORIF surgery and the other with individuals who underwent both a volar ORIF and CTR in the same surgery. Functional outcome measures were assessed using the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ), Nine-Hole Peg test, wrist extension/flexion range of motion (ROM), and circumference measurement at the metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint and distal wrist crease to determine if one surgical method’s outcomes were superior to the other in order to establish a standardized surgical approach when treating DRF.