Ingri Ekrol, MBBS, from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the effect of vitamin C on functional outcome after a distal radial fracture in a cohort of 336 adult patients. Participants were recruited over a one-year period and were randomly allocated to receive 500mg vitamin C or placebo daily for 50 days after the fracture.
The researchers found that vitamin C had no significant effect on the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score throughout the study period. Patients in the vitamin C group with a nondisplaced fracture had significantly greater wrist flexion deficit (P=0.008) and pinch strength deficit (P=0.020) and a greater rate of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS; P=0.022) at six weeks. There was no significant difference in the CRPS rate at any other time point. Vitamin C-treated patients with a displaced fracture had a higher rate of complications and greater pain with use at 26 weeks (P=0.043 and 0.045, respectively). The time to fracture healing was not significantly different between the groups.
“We conclude that administration of vitamin C confers no benefit to patients with a displaced or nondisplaced fracture of the distal aspect of the radius,” the authors write.
One or more authors received payments or services from a third party in support of this work and/or disclosed ties to an entity in the biomedical arena.