Intra-articular fractures of the distal radius represent a therapeutic challenge as compared with the unstable extra-articular fractures. With the recent development of speciﬁcally designed volar plate for the distal radius, treatment of these fractures by fragment-speciﬁc implants using two or more incisions has been advocated.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efﬁcacy of a ﬁxed-angle locking plate applied through a single volar approach in maintaining the radiographic alignment of unstable intra-articular fractures as well as to report the clinical outcomes. We only excluded those with compound fracture of distal radius grade III and above.
Patients and Methods: This prospective randomized study comprised 60 patients with displaced intra-articular (Frykman type IV-VIII) distal end radius fractures treated with volar locking plates. The patients were followed up at 2nd week, 6th week, 12 week, 6 months and 1 year after surgery. The assessment of pain, range of motion, grip strength and activity were assessed at each follow-up visit and scored according to the Green and O’Brien scoring system.
Results: At the end of 1 years, In volar plate group out of 60 patients, excellent result was achieved in 08 patients (13%), good in 48 patients (80%), fair in 04 patients (7%). No poor outcome seen.
Conclusions: Irrespective of the direction and amount of initial displacement, a great majority of intra articular fractures of the distal radius can be managed with a ﬁxed angle volar plate through a single volar approach.