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J Korean Soc Surg Hand. 2014 Sep;19(3):124-129. Korean. Original Article.
Choi HC , Lee JY , Jung JY , Park IJ , Chung YG .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether the number of distal locking screws affected the final radiologic results after volar plate fixation for distal radius fractures. METHODS: We retrospectively identified 176 patients (male, 36; female, 140; average, 60 years) who had distal radius fractures treated with open reduction and volar plate fixation between 2011 and 2012. The number of screws used for distal fixation was determined according to the surgeon's preference and the type of plate used. Radiologic parameters and their displacements were measured postoperatively and at final follow-up. The results of using 4 or 5 distal locking screws were compared with those of using more than 6 distal locking screws. RESULTS: There was no significant displacement in fracture fragment when using 4 or 5 distal locking screws compared with using more than 6 distal locking screws. Mean displacement in ulnar variance was 0.6 mm in group with less than 5 screws, and the displacement was 0.4 mm in group with more than 6 screws (p=0.772). Secondary displacement was not correlated with fracture type or the number of distal locking screws. There was no fixation failure during the study period. CONCLUSION: It seems that 4 or 5 distal locking screws are strong enough to prevent a significant loss of fracture reduction. Filling every distal screw hole is not recommended to limit cost and avoid extensor tendon complications.

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