Clinical, functional and radiological outcomes of the use of fixed angle volar locking plates in corrective distal radius osteotomy for fracture malunion

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Valerio Pace
Pasquale Sessa
Matteo Guzzini
Marco Spoliti
Alessandro Carcangiu
Natale Criseo
Alessandro Giai Via
Luigi Meccariello
Auro Caraffa
Riccardo Maria Lanzetti


Distal radius fractures, distal radius mal-union, corrective osteotomy, fixed-angle locking volar plate, hand rehabilitation


Background and aim: Fractures of the distal radius are a common injury and mal-union can occur in those managed non-operatively. This can cause significant functional limitations along with pain. A corrective osteotomy with the use of a volar locking plate aims to restore articular surface congruency and improve outcomes. We present our local experience with clinical, functional and radiological outcomes of corrective osteotomy using a fixed angle volar locking plate and bone graft for management of distal radius mal-union.

Methods: Retrospective study. All adult patients. Both pre and post operatively clinical range of motion was recorded. Post operative PROMS was measure by DASH, MAYO and SF-12 and pain by means of a VAS measured from 0-10. Mean follow up period was at 15 months.

Results: 32 patients underwent the studied procedure. 24F-8F. Mean age: 56. Radiological union of corrective osteotomy: 28 (88%) of patients. 4 patients required further operative treatment to achieve corrective union. No other reported complications post-op. Post-operatively flexion improved by 24 and extension 20. Pronation was improved by 24 and supination 22. Pain was improved from an average VAS pre-operative of 5.6 to 1.6 post-operatively. Mean DASH scored improved from 57.8 to 16.2 post-operatively and MAYO 38.5 to 58.6. The mean post-operative SF-12 score was 46.2 from 31.

Conclusions: In this series of 32 patients (the biggest reported in the literature in our knowledge) a  corrective osteotomy with fixed-angle volar locking plate for mal-united distal radius has shown to improve both clinical-radiological and patient reported outcomes and provide good results of the very few complications’ treatments.


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