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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006 Apr;445:91-9.

Bridge plating of distal radius fractures: the Harborview method.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


High-energy comminuted distal radius fractures treated at Level 1 trauma centers represent unique treatment challenges. In particular, two groups of patients require special consideration: patients with high-energy injuries that have fracture extension into the radius and ulna diaphysis and patients with multiple injuries that require load bearing through the injured wrist to assist with mobilization. We report our experiences treating these injuries with a bridge plating technique. The bridge plate acts as an "internal fixator" and depends on ligamentotaxis for fracture reduction. The technique has been found to be performed easily and achieves the goals of maintenance of fracture reduction, allows weightbearing through the injured extremity, and is associated with few complications. We describe the technique and review our experience with a retrospective chart review of 62 consecutive patients.


Therapeutic study, level IV (case series).

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