J Korean Soc Surg Hand.  2014 Sep;19(3):124-129. 10.12790/jkssh.2014.19.3.124.

Radiologic Results in Accordance with the Number of Distal Locking Screws in Volar Plate Fixation for Distal Radius Fractures

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. jylos1@gmail.com


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the number of distal locking screws affected the final radiologic results after volar plate fixation for distal radius fractures.
We retrospectively identified 176 patients (male, 36; female, 140; average, 60 years) who had distal radius fractures treated with open reduction and volar plate fixation between 2011 and 2012. The number of screws used for distal fixation was determined according to the surgeon's preference and the type of plate used. Radiologic parameters and their displacements were measured postoperatively and at final follow-up. The results of using 4 or 5 distal locking screws were compared with those of using more than 6 distal locking screws.
There was no significant displacement in fracture fragment when using 4 or 5 distal locking screws compared with using more than 6 distal locking screws. Mean displacement in ulnar variance was 0.6 mm in group with less than 5 screws, and the displacement was 0.4 mm in group with more than 6 screws (p=0.772). Secondary displacement was not correlated with fracture type or the number of distal locking screws. There was no fixation failure during the study period.
It seems that 4 or 5 distal locking screws are strong enough to prevent a significant loss of fracture reduction. Filling every distal screw hole is not recommended to limit cost and avoid extensor tendon complications.


Distal radius fractures; Volar locking plate; Number of screws

MeSH Terms

Follow-Up Studies
Radius Fractures*
Retrospective Studies
Palmar Plate*


  • Fig. 1. Volar locking plates used in this study. (A) LCP volar extra-articular distal radius plate (DePuySynthes, West Chester, PA, USA) with single row of 4 or 5 distal locking screws. (B) Acu-Loc plate (Acumed, Hillsboro, OR, USA) with double row of 6 to 9 distal locking screws.

Cited by  2 articles

How Many Screws Are Needed for Reliable Stability of Extra-articular Nonosteoporotic Distal Radius Fractures Fixed with Volar Locking Plates?
Hyoung-Seok Jung, Han Sol Jung, Suk-Ho Baek, Jae Sung Lee
Clin Orthop Surg. 2020;12(1):22-28.    doi: 10.4055/cios.2020.12.1.22.

The usefulness of bioabsorbable magnesium implants in addition to metal plates in the treatment of complex distal radius fractures
Ki Yong An, Tae Gyu Park, Young Jae Kim
Arch Hand Microsurg. 2023;28(4):267-274.    doi: 10.12790/ahm.23.0037.


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