A comparison of minimally invasive approach vs conventional approach for volar plating of distal radial fractures

Xu ZHANG, Xiangye HUANG, Xinzhong SHAO, Hongwei ZHU, Jianxin SUN, Xianhui WANG,


The aim of this study was to introduce and to evaluate the functional results of volar plating of distal radial fractures through a longitudinal minimally invasive approach.
From January 2010 to January 2013, 157 patients with distal radial fractures were randomly allocated to group A (n = 83; 49 men, 34 women; mean age: 42 (18–67)) and B (n = 74; 46 men, 28 women; mean age: 41 (22–65)), including type A2, A3, B3, C1, and C2 fractures, based on AO Foundation and Orthopaedic Trauma Association Classification. Patients in group A were treated through a 1.5- to 2-cm longitudinal incision, and patients in group B were treated through the conventional flexor carpi radialis approach. All fractures were treated with a locking volar plate. The functional results were compared with range of motion, grip and pronation strengths for each fracture type.
After a follow-up of 2 years, similar measurements were noted on range of motion and grip strength in both groups. Regarding pronation strength, group A was superior to group B (p < 0.05).
Minimally invasive volar plating of distal radial fractures is a safe and reliable technique, resulting in better pronation function and appearance.
Level of Evidence
Level I, Therapeutic study
ER -


  • Distal radial fracture
  • Pronator quadratus
  • Volar plating

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