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Biomechanical Properties of Fixed-Angle Volar Distal Radius Plates Under Dynamic Loading

Mar 8, 2007 | Upper Extremity

Distal radius fractures are commonly encountered in general orthopaedic and hand subspecialty practices. Most surgeons are comfortable with both operative and nonoperative management of these fractures. Treatment options have evolved with fracture pattern governing the specific treatment modality. Casting with or without reduction, percutaneous pinning, external fixation, and open reduction with internal fixation employing dorsal, volar and fragment specific plates are all common methods used to treat these injuries. A paradigm shift has occurred in the treatment of dorsally displaced distal radius fractures. Previous volar plating techniques demonstrated a high failure rate when compared to distal buttress plating which prevented fracture settling and recurrent displacement. Orbay and others have developed volar plating constructs, which provide subchondral support to the distal radius, transferring radiocarpal forces experienced in the postoperative period to the plate and volar cortex. Previous studies have examined biomechanical differences between dorsal and volar plating while further investigations between specific volar plate constructs under static and dynamic loading conditions have been reported. This study compares the biomechanical properties of eight different fixed-angle volar distal radius plate designs under dynamic loading to determine their ability to withstand the forces which occur during fracture healing and early postoperative rehabilitation.

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