Background: The purpose of this study is to compare radiographic outcomes of patients treated with dorsal spanning plates with previously reported normal values of radiographic distal radius anatomy and compare the results with prior publications for both external fixation and internal fixation with volar locked plates. Methods: Patients with complex distal radius fractures including dorsal marginal impaction pattern necessitating dorsal distraction plating at the discretion of the senior authors (M.A.T. and M.A.I.) from May 30, 2013, to December 29, 2015, were identified and included in the study. Retrospective chart and radiograph review was performed on 19 patients, 11 male and 8 female, with mean age of 47.83 years (22-82). No patients were excluded from the study. Results: All fractures united prior to plate removal. The average time the plate was in place was 80.5 days (49-129). Follow-up radiographs showed average radial inclination of 20.5° (13.2°-25.5°), radial height of 10.7 mm (7.5-14 mm), ulnar variance of −0.3 mm (−2.1 to 3.1 mm), and volar tilt of 7.9° (−3° to 15°). One patient had intra-articular step-off greater than 2 mm. Conclusions: Dorsal distraction plating of complex distal radius fractures yields good radiographic results with minimal complications. In cases of complex distal radius fractures including dorsal marginal impaction where volar plating is not considered adequate, a dorsal distraction plate should be considered as an alternative to external fixation due to reduced risk for infection and better control of volar tilt.
- distraction plating
- dorsal marginal impaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine