Dorsal wrist plating for the management of intra-articular distal radius fractures


distal radius fracture, Barton’s fragment, dorsal plate

Published online: Apr 23 2024


1 Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Service de chirurgie orthopédique et traumatologique, Bruxelles, Belgium
2 Ziekenhuis Geel, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Geel, Belgium


The aim of the study was to evaluate the results of Dorsal Wrist Plating in intra-articular distal radius fractures with a dorsal displacement. In this prospective study, a single surgeon treated 20 patients with a (partially) intra-articular distal radius fracture with a dorsal rim avulsion or a dorsal Barton’s type fragment. They all underwent an open reduction and internal fixation by Dorsal Wrist Plating. A total of 17 patients had a follow-up period of at least 12 months (mean follow- up of 17 months) and these patients were included in the study. Both functional and radiological outcome parameters were measured. The total range of motion was 92 % of the contralateral side. The mean grip strength and key pinch were 24.6 kg and 6.9kg respectively compared to 29.5 kg and 7.4 kg on the non-operated side. The average Mayo Wrist Score was 89.7 (range 80-100) and the mean Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score was 4.5 (range 0-9.2). An articular step-off was only noted in 2 patients (1 and 2 mm respectively). Radial inclination was restored in all patients. Palmar tilt was anatomically restored in five patients. In all other patients, the palmar tilt was acceptably restored. There was no significant radial shortening in any of the patients. No infections, no tendon ruptures, no Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, or union problems were observed. Dorsal wrist plating seems to be a safe and reliable procedure in the treatment of intra-articular distal radius fractures with dorsal displacement.