Distal Radius Fractures and the Dorsal Spanning Plate in the Management of the Polytraumatized Patient

Ann S. Golden, Jaclyn M. Kapilow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Summary:Distal radius fractures are some of the most common fractures treated by the orthopaedic surgeon. There are a variety of methods of fixation to treat these fractures; however, in patients with polytrauma and in high-energy fracture patterns, fixation options can be limited. In the past, these fractures were treated with plaster, Kirschner wires, or external fixators that were fraught with complications. The dorsal spanning plate is an excellent option in the treatment of high-energy fractures and patients with polytrauma, fractures with dorsal or volar comminution, fracture dislocations, and shear injuries, and in geriatric patients with poor bone quality. The dorsal spanning plate not only allows for fixation of these complex fractures but also allows for weight-bearing through the wrist, an advantage for patients with concomitant lower extremity fractures and geriatric patients who need mobility aides. Understanding the risks and benefits of dorsal spanning plates and their use for the treatment of polytraumatized patient is a vital base of knowledge for the orthopaedic traumatologist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S6-S10
JournalJournal of orthopaedic trauma
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • bridge plate
  • distal radius fracture
  • dorsal spanning plate
  • polytrauma
  • weight-bearing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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