Distal radius fractures with diaphyseal involvement: fixation with fixed angle volar plate

J Orthop Traumatol. 2011 Sep;12(3):137-43. doi: 10.1007/s10195-011-0147-x. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of fractures of the distal radius with metaphyseal and diaphyseal involvement treated with fixed angle volar plates.

Materials and methods: Twenty-one patients with fracture of the radius involving the diaphyseal, metaphyseal and epiphyseal parts were treated with fixed angle plate fixation through an extended volar Henry's approach. Circle wire loops, screws and intrafocal wire fixations were associated in 12 cases. Coexisting ulnar fractures were fixed with plates or K-wires in 8 cases. All patients were prospectively followed using radiographs, physical examination, and DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) scores.

Results: All fractures except one, which needed a secondary bone graft to achieve consolidation, united by an average of 90 days. One case developed a radioulnar synostosis. Radiographs showed optimal reduction in 17 of 21 cases, with restoration of radial length in all cases and a neutral average ulnar variance. Nonanatomical reduction was associated with the worst results (P = 0.0006). Flexion and extension averaged 62.8° and 73.8°, and pronation and supination 85.2° and 80.2°, respectively. The average DASH scores were 30 points at 3 months, 14 points at 6 months, and 6.7 points at the time of final follow-up (at an average of 11 months). According to the Mayo wrist rating system, 14 patients showed excellent results, 5 showed good results, and 2 showed fair results.

Conclusion: Fixed angle volar plates were demonstrated to be a safe and efficient treatment in these challenging fractures.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Plates*
  • Diaphyses / diagnostic imaging
  • Diaphyses / injuries
  • Diaphyses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / instrumentation
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Radius Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius Fractures / surgery*
  • Synostosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult