Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-44

Volar plating in distal end radius fractures and its clinical and radiological outcome as compared to other methods of treatment

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Radio Diagnosis, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sohael M Khan
C/O Dr. MJ Khan, Shishu Hospital, Opp. Zilla Parishad, Chandrapur, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2319-2585.180692

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Background: Fracture of the distal end radius constitutes one of the most common skeletal injuries treated by the orthopedic surgeon. Wide arrays of techniques have been described including closed reduction, percutaneous fixation and open methods of reduction, and stabilization. Displaced extra- or intra-articular distal radius fractures require accurate reduction to allow a good outcome. We assessed the outcome of volar plate osteosynthesis and compared its outcome with other methods of treatment to confirm satisfactory reduction and functional outcomes. Materials and Methods: Prospective study conducted in our medical institution between 2012 and 2013. Inclusion criteria included skeletally mature patients who presented to casualty with fractures of the distal radius. Closed reduction cast application/K-wire fixation/open reduction and internal fixation with a volar plate was done under general anesthesia in 60 patients (20 cases each). During the follow-up, radiological and functional parameters were assessed and Gartland and Werley scoring was done. Results: Patients with volar plate fixation had a better outcome than the K-wire fixation and cast application. Radiological parameters were well-maintained, and functional parameters showed a significant improvement during the follow-up period. The complication rate was less and insignificant. 
Conclusion: Primary volar plate fixation of unstable distal radius fracture provides a stable construct that helps in early mobilization, thereby better functional outcomes and minimizes chances of delayed/malunion and, thereby is an upcoming method of choice for fracture distal end of radius. The present study comprised of 60 patients of distal radius fractures in 20 patients treated by plating, 20 by cast application and 20 by K-wire application. The minimum follow-up was 8 weeks, and the maximum was 36 weeks. This study was undertaken to assess the functional outcome of operative management of distal radial fractures and the following conclusions were drawn - male patients predominated female patients (36 males to 24 females) and average age of patients is 46.01 years. Left sided fractures were more common (61.6%). Road traffic accident was the commonest cause of the trauma (73.3%). AO 23 A-2 was the most common type of fracture, accounting for (26.6%) with Associated injuries seen in 4 patients (6.6%). Functional outcome as per Gartland and Werley was 3.75 for plating, 8.6 for cast application, and 7.55 for K-wire fixation. About 90% excellent to good results were observed in plating group as compared to 55% in cast and 65% in K-wire fixation in demerit score. Complication such as irregular articular surface, wrist pain, finger stiffness, K-wire loosening was observed. Thus, based on this study, we conclude that volar plating has relatively better outcome for distal end fractures of radius particularly volar Barton fractures, with minimum chance of loosening of implant even in highly comminuted cases and cases having osteoporosis.

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