Possibility of Fixation of a Distal Radius Fracture With a Volar Locking Plate Through a 10 mm Approach

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Abstract

The management of distal radius fractures has dramatically improved due to the development of a locking plate system. In addition, mini-invasive surgery has been performed in a lot of surgical fields in recent years. The aim of the present study is to investigate the possibility of fixation of a distal radius fracture with a volar locking plate through a 10 mm approach. Eighteen patients with distal radius fracture (mean age: 66 y; range, 28 to 88 y; 8 males and 10 females) were operated on using a volar locking plate. The incision for plating was always 10 mm long. The clinical, cosmetic, and radiologic outcomes were investigated. At 3 months’ follow-up, the range of motion of the wrist joint was 67.5 degrees in flexion, 65.6 degrees in extension, 88.3 degrees in pronation, and 88.3 degrees in supination. The % grip strength compared to the healthy side ranged from 35% to 100%. The VAS, Q-DASH, and modified Mayo scores were 0.7, 8.5, and 93.3, respectively (excellent in all 18 patients). Bone union was achieved on plain x-ray radiography and cosmetic problems were satisfied in all patients. Our results suggest that it is possible to achieve fixation of a distal radius fracture with a volar locking plate through a 10 mm approach. However, its applicability to surgery must be carefully examined. If any difficulties in plate installation or approach occur during this intervention, it will be necessary to consider switching to a conventional approach. We believe that surgeons must not adhere to a mini-invasive approach.

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