Comparison of two surgical methods in the treatment of intra-articular distal radius fractures: Volar locking plate and K-wire augmented bridging external fixator

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2021 Nov;27(6):684-689. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2020.56345.

Abstract

Background: In this study, we aimed to compare the radiological, clinical and functional results of volar radius locking plate, and K-wire augmented bridging external fixator (BEF) treatments that applied in intra-articular distal radius fractures.

Methods: Between May 2016 and January 2019, 162 patients who met the inclusion criteria of 23-C2 and 23-C3 according to the AO/OTA classification who operated in our clinic were evaluated retrospectively. 78 patients (37 males, 41 females, mean age 49.92) were fixated with K wire augmented BEF and 84 patients (41 males, 43 females, mean age 46.81) were fixated with volar locking plate (VLP). Demographic (age, gender, type of trauma, and follow-up time), radiological (radial inclination, radial height, volar tilt, and fracture healing time), and clinical and functional (range of motion [ROM], grip strength, Quick Dash, Green O'Brien and Mayo scores) data of the patient groups were recorded and compared statistically.

Results: There was no significant difference between the patient groups in terms of functional scoring systems. Radiologically, radial inclination, and radial length were significantly better in the volar plate group. In terms of joint ROM, flexion, extension, pronation, and supination movements were significantly better in the VLP group. Sudek atrophy incidence and loss of grip strength were higher in BEF group. Mean time of union was significantly shorter in the BEF group.

Conclusion: Successful results can be obtained in both treatment methods. However, VLP treatment provides better joint ROM and lower complication rates compared to BEF treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Plates
  • Bone Wires
  • External Fixators
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Humans
  • Intra-Articular Fractures* / diagnostic imaging
  • Intra-Articular Fractures* / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radius Fractures* / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius Fractures* / surgery
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome