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VOLUME 12 , ISSUE 3 ( November, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Repair of the pronator quadratus after volar plate fixation in distal radius fractures: a systematic review

Marjolein A.M. Mulders, Monique M.J. Walenkamp, Fernande J.M.E. Bos, Niels W.L. Schep, J. Carel Goslings

Keywords : Distal radius, Fracture, Volar plate fixation, Pronator quadratus, Repair

Citation Information : Mulders MA, Walenkamp MM, Bos FJ, Schep NW, Goslings JC. Repair of the pronator quadratus after volar plate fixation in distal radius fractures: a systematic review. 2017; 12 (3):181-188.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-017-0288-4

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 30-11-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


To position the volar plate on the distal radius fracture site, the pronator quadratus muscle needs to be detached from its distal and radial side and lifted for optimal exposure to the fracture site. Although the conventional approach involves repair of the pronator quadratus, controversy surrounds the merits of this repair. The purpose of this study was to compare the functional outcomes of patients with distal radius fractures treated with pronator quadratus repair after volar plate fixation versus no pronator quadratus repair. A systematic search was conducted in Medline, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, on 23 July 2015. All studies comparing pronator quadratus repair with no pronator quadratus repair in adult patients undergoing volar plate fixation for distal radius fractures were included. The primary outcome was the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included range of motion, grip strength, post-operative pain and complications. A total of 169 patients were included, of which 95 underwent pronator quadratus repair, while 74 patients underwent no pronator quadratus repair. At 12 months follow-up no statistically significant differences in DASH-scores and range of motion were observed between pronator quadratus repair and no repair. Moreover, post-operative pain and complication rates were similar between both groups. At 12 months of follow-up, we do not see any advantages of pronator quadratus repair after volar plate fixation in the distal radius. However, a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn from this systematic review due to a lack of available evidence.

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