Background: The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the results of volar plating for distal radius fractures using a single direct lateral approach.
Methods: Twenty-three patients with distal radius fractures (AO type C2 and C3) were recruited into the study between Jan 2014 and Dec 2016 at our tertiary care hospital in Delhi. There were 19 males and 4 females with a mean age of 40.6 years. Open reduction and volar internal fixation with a locking T plate through a direct lateral approach were done. They were followed up at six weeks, three months and six months. Assessments of pain, motion, grip strength and standard radiographs were performed. The Modified Mayo Wrist Score (MMWS) were recorded.
Results: The radiographic results at the final follow-up showed a mean of 18.15° of radial inclination, 17.25° of volar tilt, 9.7 mm of ulnar variance. An excellent or good result was obtained in 87% of patients according to MMWS. Two patients developed numbness over superficial radial nerve distribution area post-surgery but recovered 6 weeks post-surgery with no residual numbness at final follow up. All patients had a bony union. No patients had the median nerve, radial artery and tendon injury with the direct lateral incision.
Conclusion: Internal fixation of distal radial fractures with a volar locking plate system through a direct lateral incision is a safe and stable fixation with good clinical outcomes can be achieved.
Level of Evidence: Level 3