Long-Term Follow-Up of Forearm Bone Diaphyseal Plating

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A retrospective review of 175 patients treated with forearm bone plating for acute diaphyseal fractures, nonunions, and malunions was undertaken to identify problems related to plate removal as opposed to plate retention. One hundred thirteen patients retained their forearm plates, of which five patients experienced complications related to the plate, including infection, bone failure, plate failure, and loosening. Patients retaining forearm bone plates reported minimal discomfort or functional limitation. Sixty-two patients had plate removal at an average of 19 months after insertion. Ten patients suffered major complications, including seven refractures through screw holes, osteotomy, or original fracture sites. Fractures occurred at an average of six months after plate removal. The difference in complication rates between patients treated with plate removal and patients retaining plates was statistically significant.

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