Unstable Distal Radius Fractures Treated by Volar Locking Anatomical Plates
Dr. Shishir Murugharaj Suranigi,
Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Pondicherry-605014, India.
Introduction: Fracture of the distal end of radius represents the most common fracture of the upper extremity accounting for approximately 16-20% of all fractures. Plating is now emerging as the gold standard for management of distal radius fractures due to increased rate of complications such as malunion, subluxation/dislocation of distal radio-ulnar joint or late collapse of fracture. Procedures such as closed reduction and cast immobilization, ligamentotaxis with external fixator and percutaneous pin fixation are no longer acceptable.
Aim: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the functional and radiological outcome of unstable distal radius fractures treated with the volar locking plate.
Materials and Methods: We reviewed 53 patients from January 2011 to December 2015, treated for unstable distal radius fractures using a volar locking compression plate. Standard radiographic and clinical assessment after 12 months (range 12-16 months) were measured and final functional and radiological outcome were assessed using the Modified Mayo wrist scoring system and Sarmientoâ€™s modification of Lindstorm criteria respectively.
Results: There were 42 males and 11 females with an average age of 39.12Â±31.78 years (18-71 years). At the end of 12 months, 36 patients had an excellent radiological outcome and 10 patients had good radiological outcome as per Sarmientoâ€™s modification of Lindstorm criteria. Eleven patients had an excellent functional outcome and 26 patients had a good functional outcome as per modified Mayo wrist scoring system. There was one case of superficial wound infection which subsided with intravenous antibiotics.
Conclusion: The volar locking plate fixation helps in early mobilization of the wrist, restores anatomy, allows early return to function, prevents secondary loss of reduction and hence is an effective treatment for unstable fractures of the distal radius.