A total of 118 consecutive patients with a fracture of the distal radius were treated with a volar locking plate; 50 patients had no ulnar styloid fracture, 41 had a basal ulnar styloid fracture, and 27 had a fracture of the tip of the ulnar styloid. There were no significant differences in radiological and clinical results among the three groups. The outcome was good and was independent of the presence of a fracture of the ulnar styloid. A total of five patients (4.2%) had persistent ulnar-sided wrist pain at final follow-up. Nonunion of the ulnar styloid fracture did not necessarily lead to ulnar wrist pain. Patients with persistent ulnar pain had a higher mean initial ulnar variance and increased post-operative loss of ulnar variance.

The presence of an associated ulnar styloid fracture of the ulnar styloid does not adversely affect the outcome in patients with a fracture of the distal radius treated by volar plating.

  • Received March 12, 2008.
  • Accepted August 11, 2008.
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