Today’s article is about a surgical treatment option for a broken radius at the wrist.
What is Distal Radius Fracture Repair with Volar Plate?
Distal Radius Fracture Repair with Volar Plate is a procedure used to stabilize a fracture in the wrist. This stabilization is accomplished through the surgical placement of a metal implant on the palm side of the arm.
Who needs Distal Radius Fracture Repair with Volar Plate?
This procedure is used to treat distal radius fractures, which are fractures at the end of the arm and near the wrist. The bone affected in a distal radius fracture is the radius, which is the largest of the two forearm bones. Trauma or injury are the most common cause of this type of fracture. Degenerative conditions like osteoporosis can increase the likelihood of a fracture occurring by making bones more fragile, but even a healthy radius can fracture if subjected to enough force. Some examples of trauma or injury that can cause a distal radius fracture include falling onto an outstretched arm, being in a car accident, or falling off of a bicycle.
What are the steps in Distal Radius Fracture Repair with Volar Plate?
Preparing for the Procedure
Anesthetic is given once the patient has been placed into a position that allows the surgeon clear access to the palm side of the forearm. This area is made clean and sterile.
Creating Access to the Fracture
The surgeon creates an initial incision to gain access to the site of the fracture. The surgeon then corrects the alignment of the fractured bone.
Stabilizing with the Volar Plate
The surgeon then inserts a metal plate into the forearm. This plate has been contoured to fit the radius, so it is placed against the realigned fracture. The surgeon then anchors the plate to the bone with surgical screws.
End of the Procedure
Once the radius has been stabilized, the surgeon closes the incision with surgical staples or sutures. Once the incision is closed, the arm is bandaged. A splint is used to keep the arm immobilized.
This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, so you may be able to leave the day of the procedure. Once initial swelling has reduced, a cast or removable brace may be used during the healing process. You may require hand therapy after this procedure.