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Distal Radius Fracture Surgery

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Evolution of Distal Radius Fracture Surgery

One of the main goals of orthopedic surgery is restoration of pre-injury anatomy, and distal radius surgery is not exception. There exist many different options for surgical treatment of these fractures. One of the oldest techniques is external fixation, where pins are inserted to through the skin and connected by bars to hold the fracture reduced (i.e. straightened).

However, patients may develop an infection or lose range of motion at the wrist joint. Another option is using a plate with screws on the dorsal (opposite side of the palm) portion of the distal radius. These plates can be very prominent and can even cause the tendons that allow you to extend your fingers to rupture.

Another option is to place the plate on the volar (same side as the palm) portion of the distal radius. These plates don’t irritate the tendons like those placed dorsally, but they did not have the strength with traditional screws to prevent the fracture from moving and these fractures often healed in the incorrect alignment.

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