International Orthopaedics

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 389–394 | Cite as

Operative treatment of distal radial fractures with locking plate system—a prospective study

  • Kenny KwanEmail author
  • Tak Wing Lau
  • Frankie Leung
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to determine the results of operative treatment of distal radial fractures with a 2.4-mm locking plate system in a single tertiary teaching hospital. Seventy-five patients were recruited into the study between May 2004 and November 2006. There were 41 males and 34 females, with a mean age of 51. Seventy-five percent of patients had AO type C fractures. All patients were allowed free active mobilisation of the wrist joint immediately after surgery. They were followed up at two weeks, three months, six months, one year and two years. Assessments of pain, motion, grip strength, and standard radiographs were performed. The Gartland and Werley functional scores, the modified Green and O’Brien score, and the disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) scores were recorded. The radiographic results at the final follow-up showed a mean of 18° of radial inclination, 5° of volar tilt, 1.3-mm radial shortening, and no articular incongruity. Twenty-nine percent of patients showed grade 1 osteoarthritic changes and 6% had grade 2 changes in their final follow-up radiographs. An excellent or good result was obtained in 98% and 96% of patients according to the Gartland and Werley, and modified Green and O’Brien scores, respectively. The mean DASH score was 11.6, indicating a high level of patient satisfaction. Internal fixation of distal radial fractures with a 2.4-mm locking plate system provided a stable fixation with good clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.


Scaphoid Fracture Flexor Carpus Radialis Tension Band Wiring Distal Radial Fracture Radial Inclination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Arora R, Lutz M, Fritz D, Zimmermann R, Oberladstätter J, Gabl M (2005) Palmar locking plate for treatment of unstable dorsal dislocated distal radius fractures. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 125(6):399–404PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker SP, O’Neill B, Haddon W Jr, Long WB (1974) The injury severity score: a method for describing patients with multiple injuries and evaluating emergency care. J Traumatol 14:187–196Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bianchi S, van Aaken J, Glauser T, Martinoli C, Beaulieu JY, Della Santa D (2008) Screw impingement on the extensor tendons in distal radius fractures treated by volar plating: sonographic appearance. AJR Am J Roentgenol 191(5):W199–W203PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chen NC, Jupiter JB (2007) Management of distal radial fractures. J Bone Jt Surg Am 89(9):2051–2062CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cooney WP, Bussey R, Dobyns JH, Linscheid RL (1987) Difficult wrist fractures. Perilunate fracture-dislocations of the wrist. Clin Orthop 214:136–147PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gartland JJ Jr, Werley CW (1951) Evaluation of healed Colles’ fractures. J Bone Jt Surg Am 33:895–907Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gerald G, Karl G, Christian G, Heimo C, Max Z, Florentine F, Alexander BG (2008) Volar plate fixation of AO type C2 and C3 distal radius fractures, a single-centre study of 55 patients. J Orthop Traumatol 22:467–472Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Green DP, O’Brien ET (1980) Classification and management of carpal dislocations. Clin Orthop 149:55–72PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Knirk JL, Jupiter JB (1986) Intra-articular fractures of the distal end of the radius in young adults. J Bone Jt Surg Am 68:647–659Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kreder HJ, Hanel DP, Mckee M, Jupiter L, McGillivary G, Swiontkowski MF (1996) X-ray film measurements for healed distal radius fractures. J Hand Surg Am 21(1):31–39PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Leung F, Tu YK, Chew WY, Chow SP (2008) Comparison of external and percutaneous pin fixation with plate fixation for intra-articular distal radial fractures. A randomised study. J Bone Jt Surg Am 90(1):16–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Osada D, Kamei S, Masuzaki K, Takai M, Kameda M, Tamai K (2008) Prospective study of distal radius fractures treated with a volar locking plate system. J Hand Surg Am 33(5):691–700PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Othman AY (2009) Fixation of dorsally displaced distal radius fractures with volar plate. J Traumatol 66(5):1416–1420Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyQueen Mary HospitalHong Kong IslandHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyUniversity of Hong KongPokfulam, Hong Kong IslandHong Kong

Personalised recommendations