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Int Orthop. 2011 Mar;35(3):389-94. doi: 10.1007/s00264-010-0974-z. Epub 2010 Feb 21.

Operative treatment of distal radial fractures with locking plate system-a prospective study.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong.


The aim of this study was to determine the results of operative treatment of distal radial fractures with a 2.4-mm locking plate system in a single tertiary teaching hospital. Seventy-five patients were recruited into the study between May 2004 and November 2006. There were 41 males and 34 females, with a mean age of 51. Seventy-five percent of patients had AO type C fractures. All patients were allowed free active mobilisation of the wrist joint immediately after surgery. They were followed up at two weeks, three months, six months, one year and two years. Assessments of pain, motion, grip strength, and standard radiographs were performed. The Gartland and Werley functional scores, the modified Green and O'Brien score, and the disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) scores were recorded. The radiographic results at the final follow-up showed a mean of 18° of radial inclination, 5° of volar tilt, 1.3-mm radial shortening, and no articular incongruity. Twenty-nine percent of patients showed grade 1 osteoarthritic changes and 6% had grade 2 changes in their final follow-up radiographs. An excellent or good result was obtained in 98% and 96% of patients according to the Gartland and Werley, and modified Green and O'Brien scores, respectively. The mean DASH score was 11.6, indicating a high level of patient satisfaction. Internal fixation of distal radial fractures with a 2.4-mm locking plate system provided a stable fixation with good clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

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