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  • Author: Luca Pacchiarini x
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Luca Pacchiarini Service of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Department of Surgery, EOC, Lugano, Switzerland

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Lorenzo Massimo Oldrini Service of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Department of Surgery, EOC, Lugano, Switzerland

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Pietro Feltri Service of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Department of Surgery, EOC, Lugano, Switzerland

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Stefano Lucchina Service of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Department of Surgery, EOC, Lugano, Switzerland
Surgical Department, Hand Surgery Unit EOC, Locarno’s Regional Hospital, Locarno, Switzerland
Locarno Hand Center, Locarno, Switzerland

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Giuseppe Filardo Service of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Department of Surgery, EOC, Lugano, Switzerland
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

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Christian Candrian Service of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Department of Surgery, EOC, Lugano, Switzerland
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland

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Purpose

  • Distal radius fractures (DRFs) represent up to 18% of all fractures in the elderly population, yet studies on the rate of complications following surgery are lacking in the literature. This systematic review aimed to quantify the rate of complications and reinterventions in patients treated with volar plate for distal radius fractures, and analyze if there was any predisposing factor.

Methods

  • A comprehensive literature search was performed on three databases up to January 2023, following PRISMA guidelines. Studies describing volar plate complications and hardware removal were included. A systematic review was performed on complications and rate of reintervention. Assessment of risk of bias and quality of evidence was performed with the ‘Down and Black’s Checklist for measuring quality’.

Results

  • About112 studies including 17 288 patients were included. The number of complications was 2434 in 2335 patients; the most frequent was carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), representing 14.3% of all complications. About 104 studies reported the number of reinterventions, being 1880 with a reintervention rate of 8.5%. About 84 studies reported the reason of reintervention; the most common were patient’s will (3.0%), pain (1.1%), CTS (1.2%), and device failure (1.1%).

Conclusion

  • The complication rate after DRFs is 13.5%, with the main complication being CTS (14.3%), followed by pain and tendinopathy. The reintervention rate is 8.5%, mainly due to the patient’s willingness, and all these patients had plate removal. Correct positioning of the plate and correct information to the patient before surgery can reduce the number of hardware removal, thereby reducing costs and the risk of complications associated with VLP for distal radius fractures.

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