Distal Radius fracture fixation with a volar plate
Distal Radius fracture anatomy
The Forearm, commonly referred to as the wrist, is simple but still complex part of the body. Comprised of two parallel bones, the radius and ulna, the wrist is capable of twisting motions. The radius is the long bone in the forearm that is on thumbs side. The radius is both shorter and thicker than the ulna. The ulna is on the outside of the forearm, running from the elbow to the pinkie side of the hand. If you open your hand and twist it then you will notice your pinkie doesn’t move much and your thumb rotates around your hand. If you ever find yourself in an anatomy test just remember that the radius rotates. When spatially referring to the forearm anatomy the distal portion is closest to your hand, and the proximal end is closest to the elbow.
Distal Radius fracture fixation with a Volar Plate procedure
Distal radius fractures that are too complex to set with a cast or splint require surgical fixation to restore function to the wrist. The patient will be put under anesthesia for this outpatient procedure. The surgeon will position the arm with the palm facing up and make an incision to gain access to the radius bone. The bone will be set into proper alignment and a metal plate will be fashioned to fit accurately in place. The plate will then be secured to the bone with surgical screws and the stabilized fracture will be closed. The patient will be bandaged and externally fixated with a splint or cast for stability during the healing process. When the patient wakes up they will be allowed to go home shortly after the sedation has worn off.
Distal Radius fracture fixation with a volar plate recovery
The patient will be allowed to go home shortly after the surgical procedure to recover at home. The surgical site will not be able to get wet and the patient will have to take care during bathing while the cast is attached for about six weeks. After the cast is removed the patient will be prescribed physical therapy to rebuild strength and flexibility to the hand and wrist. Some patients take up to a year to fully recover although most can have a relatively normal day- to- day after about two months from the surgical correction.