Publication Date



World Journal of Orthopedics


BACKGROUND: Radiocarpal dislocations are rare but potentially devastating injuries. Poorer outcomes are associated with inadequate or lost reduction, such as ulnar translocation, but no consensus exists on the ideal fixation technique. Dorsal bridge plate fixation has been described for various settings in the treatment of complex distal radius fractures and can be fixed distally to the second or third metacarpal, but its application for radiocarpal dislocations has not been established.

AIM: To determine whether distal fixation to the second or third metacarpal matters.

METHODS: Using a cadaveric radiocarpal dislocation model, the effect of distal fixation was studied in two stages: (1) A pilot study that investigated the effect of distal fixation alone; and (2) a more refined study that investigated the effect of described techniques for distal and proximal fixation. Radiographs were measured in various parameters to determine the quality of the reduction achieved.

RESULTS: The pilot study found that focusing on distal fixation alone without changing proximal fixation results in ulnar translocation and volar subluxation when fixing distally to the second metacarpal compared with the third. The second iteration demonstrated that anatomic alignment in coronal and sagittal planes could be achieved with each technique.

CONCLUSION: In a cadaveric radiocarpal dislocation model, anatomic alignment can be maintained with bridge plate fixation to the second metacarpal or the third metacarpal if the described technique is followed. When considering dorsal bridge plate fixation for radiocarpal dislocations, the surgeon is encouraged to understand the nuances of different fixation techniques and how implant design features may influence proximal placement.


Wrist, Instability, Bridge plate, Dorsal spanning plate, Radiocarpal dislocation model, Cadaveric study


PMID: 37155513



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