Outcome of dorsally comminuted versus intact distal radial fracture fixed with volar locking plates

Saker Khamaisy, Yoram A. Weil, Ori Safran, Meir Liebergall, Rami Mosheiff, Amal Khoury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Distal radial fractures are common. Modern trends favour operative treatment in many instances, providing stable fixation and early functional recovery. Recent biomechanical evidence suggests that volar locking plates (VLPs) enable adequate stability for dorsally displaced fractures, both in dorsally intact (DI) and in dorsally comminuted (DC) fractures. The aim of the study was to compare the clinical outcome of these two fracture groups treated with a VLP. Methods: Retrospective case-control analysis of 91 distal radial fractures treated surgically using VLP by a single surgeon between the years 2006 and 2008 was carried out. Fractures were classified according to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthes/Orthopaedic Trauma Association (AO/OTA) classification. Based on initial pre-reduction X-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans, fractures were classified into two groups of DI and DC fractures. The patients were re-evaluated at 2 and 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months and 1 year. Results: Forty-one fractures (45%) were dorsally comminuted. Patients in the DC group were significantly older (mean 59 vs. 46 years, p < 0.01) and included more female patients, as well as significantly more C3 type fractures than the DI group (p < 0.04). The mean Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score at 1 year postoperatively was 6.3 ± 2.3 for the DC group, as compared with 6.6 ± 2.02 for the DI group (p = 0.64). Average time to return to work was longer in the DC group (81.2 vs. 63.6 days, p = 0.05). Range of motion, volar tilt, and radial inclination were within clinically acceptable values and did not differ significantly among the two groups. Conclusions: VLP fixation of DC distal radial fractures results in the maintenance of reduction and comparable functional and radiographical outcome with respect to DI fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-396
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Distal radius fractures
  • Dorsal comminution
  • Volar locking plate


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