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Open Access Research article

The use of beta-tricalcium phosphate bone graft substitute in dorsally plated, comminuted distal radius fractures

Michael G Jakubietz1*, Joerg G Gruenert2 and Rafael G Jakubietz1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Trauma-, Hand-, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany

2 Department of Hand, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kantonspital St. Gallen, Switzerland

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:24  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-24

Published: 22 May 2011



Intraarticular distal radius fractures can be treated with many methods. While internal fixation with angle stable implants has become increasingly popular, the use of bone graft substitutes has also been recommended to address comminution zones and thus increase stability. Whether a combination of both methods will improve clinical outcomes was the purpose of the study


The study was thus conducted as a prospective randomized clinical trial. 39 patients with unilateral, intraarticular fractures of the distal radius were included and randomized to 2 groups, one being treated with internal fixation only, while the second group received an additional bone graft substitute.


There was no statistical significance between both groups in functional and radiological results. The occurrence of complications did also not show statistical significance.


No advantage of additional granular bone graft substitutes could be seen in this study. Granular bone graft substitutes do not seem to provide extra stability if dorsal angle stable implants are used. Dorsal plates have considerable complication rates such as extensor tendon ruptures and development of CRPS.