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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 602-610

Volar locking plate versus external fixation for distal radius fractures: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

1 Department of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
2 Department of Orthopedics, The 455th Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, Shanghai, China

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aimin Chen
Department of Orthopedic Trauma Surgery, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ortho.IJOrtho_601_16

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Background: Volar locking plate (VP) and external fixation (EF) are the two most commonly used methods for treating distal radius fractures. The aim of this study was to identify which of the two treatments leads to better outcomes (clinically and radiographically) with fewer complications. Materials and Methods: A metaanalysis was performed. All available randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which compared the clinical results of VP to EF were obtained and the reported means and standard deviations were extracted to perform data synthesis. Results: A total of 9 published RCTs with 776 patients fulfilled all inclusion criteria. Data analysis revealed that VP gives better clinical results in the early postoperative period in terms of disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) scores (3 and 6 months), grip strength (3 months), flexion, extension, and supination (3 months). VP is also advantageous over EF regarding the DASH scores, maintenance of ulnar variance, and total and mild surgical complications at 12 months. Conclusions: This meta analysis supports the use of VP in treating distal radius fractures.

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