Dorsal Plate Osteosynthesis in Simple and Complex Fractures of the Distal Radius: A Radiological Analysis of 166 Cases

J Wrist Surg. 2021 Oct 1;11(2):134-144. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1735839. eCollection 2022 Apr.


Background To report the radiologic outcome and rate of complications of open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) using a dorsal plate fixation of simple and complex distal radius fractures in adult patients. Methods Patients treated with dorsal ORIF of simple and complex distal radius fractures between December 2008 and April 2013 were included in this single-center retrospective study. Type of fracture, radiographic measurements, and complications were documented. Results One-hundred and sixty-six patients/fractures were included. Restoration of radial inclination (22° ± 3°) was achieved in 38%. Radial height (14 ± 1 mm) was least likely to be restored to normal values postoperative in 25%. Normal ulnar variance (0.7 ± 1.5 mm) could be observed in 60% and adequate volar tilt (11° ± 5°) was achieved in 50% at final follow-up. We observed one loss of reduction in an AO type C2 fracture and a total of 15 nonimplant-related minor clinical complications. Conclusion Our radiographic findings after dorsal plating are comparable to those published on volar plating. The changes in radial height and volar tilt could be attributed to projection-related differences in the radiographs and did not signify a loss of reduction in all cases. Clinical Relevance Dorsal plating of distal radius fractures is safe and remains an important approach in the treatment of complex distal radius fractures. Complications in our study were even less compared to those reported in the literature. Type of Study/Level of Evidence This is a Type IV study. Level of Experience of Surgeons The level of experience of surgeons is III-V.

Keywords: ORIF; Pi-plate; distal radius fractures; dorsal plates.