Mehmet Ali Talmaç1, Mehmet Akif Görgel1, Muharrem Kanar1, Okan Tok2, Hacı Mustafa Özdemir1

1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Şişli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Altunizade Acıbadem Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Distal radius fracture, external fixator, volar locking plate.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate both clinical and radiological results of intraarticular comminuted distal radius fractures treated with volar locking plate (VLP), non-bridging external fixator (NbEF), and bridging external fixator (BEF).
Patients and methods: 95 patients (44 males, 51 females; median age 49 years; interquartile range (IQR), 37 to 60 years) who were treated with VLP, NbEF, or BEF due to intraarticular comminuted distal radius fractures between January 2010 and April 2014 were evaluated retrospectively. 34 of these patients were treated with a VLP (VLP group), 30 with a NbEF (NbEF group) and 31 with a BEF (BEF group). In the final follow-up, all patients were evaluated according to clinical and radiological parameters.
Results: The median follow-up was 5 (IQR, 4 to 6) years. The VLP and NbEF groups had better results than the BEF group in terms of wrist range of motion, loss of grip strength, Green O’Brien, Mayo Modified Wrist, The Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (QuickDASH) and VAS scores. The VLP group had the most significant radiological improvement.
Conclusion: Although clinical and radiological results for intraarticular comminuted distal radius fractures are more significantly improved in patients treated with VLP, favorable results close to VLP can be also obtained with NbEF. The BEF seems to be the least effective treatment option among the three surgical methods.