New Technique for Dorsal Fragment Reduction in Distal Radius Fractures by Using Volar Bone Fenestration

 
What to Learn from this Article?

1. A new technique for reduction of displaced dorsal fragment in distal radius fracture through volar bone fenestration?

2.Result of two such cases done by the same technique?


Case Report: Volume 3 | Issue 2 | JOCR April – June 2013 | Page 8-11 | Tsuchiya F, Naito K, Mogami A, Obayashi O


Authors: Fumika TSUCHIYA[1,2], Kiyohito NAITO[1], Atsuhiko MOGAMI[1], Osamu OBAYASHI[1]

[1]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Juntendo University Shizuoka Hospital, 1129 Nagaoka, Izunokuni, Shizuoka, 410-2295 Japan.
[2]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Niigata City General Hospital, 463-7 Shumoku, Chuo-ku, Niigata 950-1197 Japan.

Address of Correspondence:

Dr Kiyohito NAITO: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Juntendo University Shizuoka Hospital, 1129 Nagaoka, Izunokuni, Shizuoka, 410-2295 Japan. E-mail : knaito@juntendo.ac.jp


Abstract

Introduction: For intra-articular distal radius fractures (AO Classification, type B2) with a displaced dorsal fragment, there remains much discussion on the fixation method for the dorsal fragment. To reduce the displaced dorsal fragment, we developed a new technique consisting of fenestration of the volar bone cortex, reduction using an intramedullary procedure, and fixation using a volar plate.

Case Report: We performed this surgical technique in 2 patients  and achieved a good reduced position without much injury to the bone cortex at the site of volar plate placement. This surgical technique allows reduction of the dorsal fragment using an intramedullary procedure by only a volar approach, and, therefore, does not affect the dorsal soft tissue (extensor tendon). For intra-articular distal radius fractures, complete reduction of the articular surface is extremely difficult, and, in patients with a remaining gap on the articular surface, a variable angle locking screw system may be useful. In the 2 patients, the angle of the locking screw was adjusted to catch the displaced dorsal fragment, and adequate reduction and fixation could be achieved.

Conclusion: This technique, in which fenestration of the volar bone cortex allows a reduction procedure for the dorsal fragment, was useful for the reduction and fixation of the displaced dorsal fragment in distal radius fractures.

Keywords: volar plate, distal radius fracture, dorsal fragment, intramedullary reduction procedure.


Introduction

In treatment for distal radius fractures showing displacement, plate fixation is generally selected. For intra-articular fractures with a dorsal bone fragment (AO classification, type B2), there still remains much discussion on the fixation method for the dorsal fragment. Many authors have reported favorable results using a volar plate alone [1-4], while some have suggested the necessity of exposure of the fracture area using a dorsal approach, followed by anatomical reduction of the bone fragment and fixation using a dorsal plate [5, 6].         However, the dorsal approach presents problems such as the development of extensor tendon impairment and evaluation of filling materials [5, 7, 8]. Therefore, to reduce the bone fragment of intra-articular distal radius fracture with a displaced dorsal fragment, we developed a new surgical technique consisting of fenestration of the bone cortex utilizing the open space of the volar plate, reduction using an intramedullary procedure, and fixation with a volar plate.

Case Report

This operation technique is indicated for intra-articular distal end fractures (AO classification, type B2) with a displaced dorsal distal fragment with joint surface gap in lunate facet of radius and without the main bone fracture line on the volar side. In AO type B2 fractures, since this dorsal fragment tends to dislocate to volar side, closed reduction or closed surgical technique such as Kapandji’s are not enough to obtain good reduction.

According to Henry’s approach, a volar approach to the distal radius area was used. We used a variable angle two-column plate (VA TCP, Synthes, Tokyo, Japan) in 2 patients. This plate is characterized by a locking screw system allowing up to 15 off-axis angulation in all directions and an open space between the radial and intermediate columns (Fig. 1a).

After exposure of the volar side of the radius, the plate was placed at the optimal site under fluoroscopy, and the open space area was marked (Fig. 1b). After fenestration of this area using a bone chisel (Fig. 1c), an elevator was inserted to reduce the dorsal bone fragment (Fig. 1d). Due to be pushed dorsal fragment up to distal by an elevator, joint surface will get good reduction. The reduced position was maintained with the wrist in volar flexion, and plate fixation was performed (Fig. 1e). Finally, the suspending bone due to fenestration was returned to the original position (Fig. 1f).

Patient A: an 18-year-old male, previously in good health, was admitted to the emergency room after a motorcycle accident. Plain X-ray examination showed a left distal radial fracture (Figs. 2a and b), a volar tilt (VT) of -2, and ulnar tilt (UT) of 15. CT revealed a fracture line from the volar watershed line to the dorsal proximal are and dorsal displacement of the distal fragment (Fig. 2c). One week after injury, osteosynthesis was performed using the above surgical technique, and a good reduced position was achieved (Figs. 2d and e). At present, 1 year after the operation, the range of wrist motion is 900 for flexion, 700 for extension, 900 for supination, and 900 for pronation. Plain X-ray examination shows maintenance of the postoperative reduced position (VT, 13; UT, 21). He could return to his previous work.

Patient B: a 66-year-old male, previously in good health, was admitted to the emergency room after falling off a ladder. Plain X-ray examination showed a right distal radius fracture (Figs. 3a and b), a VT of 1, and a UT of 22. Although this displacement is not much, CT revealed intra-articular fracture with displaced dorsal fragment in lunate facet but no injury in the volar bone cortex (Fig. 3c). As described in “Technical Note”, closed reduction and closed surgical technique such as Kapandji’s are not enough for these dislocated fragments to obtain good reduction. Five days after injury, osteosynthesis was performed using the above surgical technique, and a good reduced position was achieved (Figs. 3d and e). At present, 1 year after the operation, the range of wrist motion is 450 for flexion, 750 for extension, 900 for supination, and 900 for pronation. Plain X-ray examination shows maintenance of the postoperative reduced position (VT, 13; UT, 19), and he can practice karate without pain.

Discussion 

There is no generally accepted opinion on the surgical technique for distal radius fracture with a displaced dorsal fragment. Kim et al. reported good results using only volar plate fixation even for fractures accompanied by a displaced dorsal fragment [1]. In contrast, Jakubietz et al. reported that anatomical reduction using a dorsal approach and dorsal plate fixation should be performed [6]. Lozano-Calderon and Schneeberger et al. reported that dorsal plate or k-wire fixation should be added to reduce the dorsal fragment when its adequate fixation cannot be achieved using a volar plate alone [5, 9].

However, the dorsal approach for distal radius fracture presents problems such as the development of complications and evaluation of bone filling materials for bone defects after reduction [5, 7, 8]. Therefore, for anatomical reduction and fixation of the dorsal fragment using a volar approach alone, we developed a new technique involving fenestration of the volar bone cortex and reduction using an intramedullary procedure.

The VA TCP used in this study has an open space between the radial and intermediate columns (Fig. 1a). Fenestration of the volar bone cortex in this open space allows a reduction procedure for the dorsal fragment (Fig. 1d). This reduction procedure may not invade the dorsal soft tissue (extensor tendon). Indeed, in both patients, the postoperative VT was 13, showing adequate reduction of the dorsal fragment (Figs. 2e and 3e). In addition, complete extension of the fingers was possible after the operation, and no adverse effects on the dorsal soft tissue (extensor tendon) were observed.

The problem of this surgical technique is the necessity of producing a new bone fracture. However, since the open space of the VA TCP is used for fenestration, the bone resected for fenestration can be returned to the original position after reduction of the dorsal bone fragment followed by plate fixation. In our patients, bone union in the fenestration area could be achieved without problems.A possible complication is inadequate reduction, resulting in a gap. For intra-articular fractures (AO C type), complete reduction of the articular surface is extremely difficult. Schneeberger reported good results despite a remaining step off or gap on the articular surface 2 years after the operation for AO type C3 fractures [9]. In patients with an AO type C fracture showing a remaining gap on the articular surface, a variable angle locking screw system such as the VA TCP allowing up to 15 off-axis angulation in all directions may be useful. In our patients, the angle of the locking screw could be adjusted to catch the dislocated dorsal fragment, and adequate reduction and fixation could be achieved.

Conclusion

Fenestration of the volar bone cortex in the open space of the VA TCP (volar plate) allowed a reduction procedure for the dorsal fragment. This operation technique is indicated for displaced dorsal distal fragment with joint surface gap in linate facet of radius. Closed reduction is not enough to obtain good reduction, because these fragments tend to dislocate to volar side. We got good reduction by pushing these fragments up to distal using intramedullary elevator. In addition, the variable angle locking screw system was useful to catch the displaced dorsal fragment.

References

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3.Orbay JL, Badia A, Indriago IR, Infante A, Khouri RK, Gonzalez E, Fernandez DL. The extended flexor carpi radialis approach: a new perspective for the distal radius fracture. Tech Hand Up Extrem Surg 21;5:204-11.citation_linking_graphic_18x80_trans

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6.Jakubietz MG, Gruenert JG, Jakubietz RG. The use of beta-tricalcium phosphate bone graft substitute in dorsally plated, comminuted distal radius fractures. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011;6:24-8.citation_linking_graphic_18x80_trans

7.Peine R, Rikli DA, Hoffmann R, Duda G, Regazzoni P. Comparison of three different plating techniques for the dorsum of the distal radius: A biomechanical study. J Hand Surg Am 2000;25:29-33.citation_linking_graphic_18x80_trans

8.Ring D, Jupiter JB, Brennwald J, Büchler U, Hastings H 2nd. Prospective multicenter trial of a plate for dorsal fixation of distal radius fractures. J Hand Surg Am 1997;22:777-84.citation_linking_graphic_18x80_trans

9.Schneeberger AG, Ip WY, Poon TL, Chow SP. Open reduction and plate fixation of displaced AO type C3 fractures of the distal radius: restoration of articular congruity in eighteen cases. Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 2001;15:350-7.citation_linking_graphic_18x80_trans


 

How to Cite This Article: Tsuchiya F, Naito K, Mogami A, Obayashi O. New Technique for Dorsal Fragment Reduction in Distal Radius Fractures by Using Volar Bone Fenestration. J Orthopaedic Case Reports 2013 April-June;3(2):8-11. .Available from:http://www.jocr.co.in/wp/2013/04/13/2250-0685-093-fulltext/


(Figure 1) | (Figure 2) | (Figure 3) | (Figure 4)


 New Technique for Dorsal Fragment Reduction in Distal Radius Fractures by Using Volar Bone Fenestration 


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