Correction of dorsally-malunited extra-articular distal radial fractures using volar locked plates without bone grafting

M. Mahmoud, S. El Shafie, M. Kamal


Malunion is the most common complication of the distal radius with many modalities of treatment available for such a problem. The use of bone grafting after an osteotomy is still recommended by most authors. We hypothesised that bone grafting is not required; fixing the corrected construct with a volar locked plate helps maintain the alignment, while metaphyseal defect fills by itself. Prospectively, we performed the procedure on 30 malunited dorsally-angulated radii using fixed angle volar locked plates without bone grafting. At the final follow-up, 22 wrists were available. Radiological evidence of union, correction of the deformity, clinical and functional improvement was achieved in all cases. Without the use of bone grafting, corrective open wedge osteotomy fixed by a volar locked plate provides a high rate of union and satisfactory functional outcomes.


  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

  • Received December 15, 2011.
  • Accepted April 19, 2012.
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