Background: The surgical treatment of metadiaphyseal distal radius fractures may be difficult due to the associated articular or periarticular extension that limits standard fixation techniques. Longer distal radius volar locking plates allow stable fixation of the distal fragments while providing standard plate fixation in the proximal radius. We hypothesize that this plating technique allows adequate fixation to both the distal radius and metadiaphyseal fragments. The purpose of the study is to describe the outcomes, radiographic parameters, secondary surgeries, and complication rate with this device. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on adult patients with a distal radius fracture and metadiaphyseal involvement treated with a volar, distally locked plate. All patients were followed up for radiographic union, with a mean time of 219 days (range 38–575). Fracture patterns, outcomes of range of motion, grip strength, and complications, as well as injury, post open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF), and finally, healed radiographic parameters were recorded. Results: Twenty patients with 21 fractures were included. At union, mean radiographic parameters were the following: volar tilt of 8°, radial inclination of 27°, radial height of 14 mm, and ulnar variance of −1 mm. The mean final range of motion was 52° flexion, 50° extension, 68° pronation, and 66° supination. Complications included one infection and one plate removal. Four patients developed a nonunion requiring secondary procedures. There were no incidents of hardware failure or adhesions requiring tenolysis. Conclusion: Distally locked long volar plating for metadiaphyseal distal radius fractures is a safe and effective treatment option for these complex fracture patterns allowing anatomic restoration of the radial shaft and distal radius.
- Distal radius fractures
- Metadiaphyseal fractures
- Volar wrist plating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine