Fixation of distal radius fractures using AO titanium volar distal radius plate

H C Lee, Y S Wong, B K Chan, C O Low
Hand Surgery 2003, 8 (1): 7-15
This study is to assess the effectiveness and outcome of the AO titanium volar distal radius plate (Synthes) in the treatment of peri-articular volar rim fractures of the distal radius. It was conducted on 22 patients with distal radius fractures who underwent open reduction, internal fixation using the AO titanium volar distal radius plate between July 1998 and December 1999 at the Changi General Hospital. The radiographs of the patients were analysed upon fracture union and assessment of wrist function was done using Gartland and Werley criteria. There were four extra-articular AO Type A2(1) and A3(3): the remaining 18 intra-articular fractures consisted of AO B3(2), AO C1(11), AO C2(2) and AO C3(3). The average follow-up period was 12.6 months (range 7-23). Radiological review showed bone healing in 21 patients (95.5%) and good articular congruity for all intra-articular fractures with less than 2 mm step-off. Three patients defaulted follow-up. Complications were few with one wound infection, one tendon rupture and three neuropraxia of the superficial radial nerve. Wrist function was excellent in three patients, good in 12 and fair in four. The AO titanium plate with its distal buttressing ability is an effective treatment modality in patients with distal radius fractures involving the peri-articular volar rim.

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