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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Repositioning and stabilization of the radial styloid process in comminuted fractures of the distal radius using a single approach: the radio-volar double plating technique

Matthias Jacobi*, Peter Wahl and Georges Kohut

Author Affiliations

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hôpital Cantonal Fribourg, 1708 Fribourg, Switzerland

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2010, 5:55  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-5-55

Published: 11 August 2010

Abstract

Background

A possible difficulty in intra-articular fracture of the distal radius is the displacement tendency of the radial styloid process due to the tension of the brachioradialis tendon.

Methods

Ten patients treated within one year for complex distal radius fractures by double-plating technique with a radial buttress plate and volar locking plate, through a single volar approach, were followed prospectively during 24 months. Outcome measures included radiographic follow-up, range of motion, grip strength and score follow-up (VAS, Gartland-Werley score and patient-rated wrist evaluation).

Results

Ten patients with intraarticular distal radius fractures with dislocation of the radial styloid process were treated with this technique. This resulted after 24 months in good clinical outcome (mean visual analog scale 0.9; almost symmetric range of motion; mean Gartland-Werley score 2 ± 3; mean patient-rated wrist evaluation 3.2 ± 2.4). Radiologic evaluation according to the Dresdner Score revealed anatomic reduction without secondary dislocation during the follow-up and uneventful consolidation.

Conclusions

The described technique strongly facilitates anatomic reduction and stable fixation of intra-articular distal radius fractures with dislocation of the radial styloid process and leads to satisfactory clinical and radiographic outcome.