Radiographic Change in Articular Reduction After Volar Locking Plating for Intra-Articular Distal Radius Fractures

J Hand Surg Am. 2020 Apr;45(4):335-340. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2019.08.012. Epub 2019 Oct 24.


Purpose: To examine the stability of the articular reduction 12 weeks after intra-articular distal radius fracture (DRF) fixation with a volar locking plate (VLP).

Methods: We prospectively assessed for losses in articular reduction, including gap and step, during the 12 weeks following surgery for intra-articular DRF treated with a VLP in 68 wrists. The mean patient age was 62 years (range, 16-88 years). Frontal and lateral digital tomosynthesis, a recently developed form of digital tomography, was employed to measure articular gap and step in the lunate and scaphoid fossa of the radius. The average time between surgery and imaging was 1.2 days (range, 0-2 days) for the first evaluation and 87.0 days (range, 74-105 days) for the second examination.

Results: The mean gap and step were similar at the first and second examinations: 0.4 mm (SD, 0.8) and 0.3 mm (SD, 0.6) and 0.3 mm (SD, 0.7) and 0.3 mm (SD, 0.5), respectively.

Conclusions: There was no change in the alignment of the fragments in cases treated with VLP.

Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic II.

Keywords: Digital tomosynthesis; distal radius fracture; volar locking plate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Plates
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Humans
  • Intra-Articular Fractures* / diagnostic imaging
  • Intra-Articular Fractures* / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Radius
  • Radius Fractures* / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius Fractures* / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult