Volar fixed-angle plating of distal radius extension fractures: influence of plate position on secondary loss of reduction: a biomechanic study in a cadaveric model

Drobetz, Herwig, Bryant, Adam L., Pokorny, Tom, Spitaler, Ralph, Leixnering, Martin, and Jupiter, Jesse B. (2006) Volar fixed-angle plating of distal radius extension fractures: influence of plate position on secondary loss of reduction: a biomechanic study in a cadaveric model. Journal of Hand Surgery, 31A (4). 615. e1-e9.

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Abstract

Purpose: Treatment of extension fractures of the distal radius with volar fixed-angle plates has become increasingly popular in the past 2 years. It has been observed clinically that placement of the distal screws as close as possible to the subchondral zone is crucial to maintain radial length after surgery. The purposes of this study were (1) to evaluate radial shortening after plating with regard to plate position and (2) to evaluate whether plate position has an influence on the strength and rigidity of the plate–screw construct.

Methods: An extra-articular fracture (AO classification, A3) was created in 7 pairs of fresh-frozen human cadaver radiuses. The radiuses then were plated with a volar distal radius locking compression plate. Seven plates were applied subchondrally; 7 plates were applied 4.5 mm to 7.5 mm proximal to the subchondral zone. The specimens were loaded with 800-N loads for 2,000 cycles to evaluate radial shortening in the 2 groups. Each specimen then was loaded to failure.

Results: Radial shortening was significantly greater when the distal screws were placed proximal to the subchondral zone. The amount of shortening after cyclic loading correlated significantly with the distance the distal screws were placed from the subchondral zone. Rigidity of the plate systems was significantly higher in radiuses in which the distal screws were placed close to the subchondral zone.

Conclusions: To maintain radial length after volar fixed-angle plating, placement of the distal screws as subchondral as possible is essential. The subchondral plate–screw–bone constructs showed significantly greater rigidity, indicating higher resistance to postoperative loads and displacement forces.

Item ID: 29982
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1531-6564
Keywords: fixed angle; distal radius fracture; volar locking compression plate; radial shortening; subchondral
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 04:45
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110314 Orthopaedics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920116 Skeletal System and Disorders (incl. Arthritis) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920118 Surgical Methods and Procedures @ 50%
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