3D virtual pre-operative planning may reduce the incidence of dorsal screw penetration in volar plating of intra-articular distal radius fractures: Influence Statistics

3D virtual pre-operative planning may reduce the incidence of dorsal screw penetration in volar plating of intra-articular distal radius fractures

Abstract

. PurposeTo evaluate the effect of three-dimensional virtual pre-operative planning (3DVP) on the incidence of dorsal screw penetration after volar plating of distal radius fractures.MethodsA cross-sectional diagnostic imaging study was performed. Twenty out of 50 patients were randomly selected from our index prospective cohort (IPC): a prior study evaluating dorsal tangential views (DTVs) in reducing dorsal screw penetration in internal fixation of intra-articular distal radius fractures using post-operative CT scans to quantify screw protrusion. Pre-operative CTs from this cohort were now used for 3DVP by three experienced orthopaedic trauma surgeons (supplementary video). 3DVP was compared with the corresponding post-operative CT for assessing screw lengths and incidence of dorsal penetration. The Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test was used to compare screw lengths and the Fishers’ exact for incidence of penetration.ResultsThree surgeons performed 3DVP for 20 distal radius fractures and virtually applied 60 volar plates and 273 screws. Median screw length was shorter in the 3DVP when compared to IPC: 18 mm (range, 12–22) versus 20 mm (range, 14–26) (p < 0.001). The number of penetrating screws was 5% (13/273 screws) in the 3DVP group compared to 11% (10/91 screws) in the IPC (p = 0.047). Corresponding to a reduction in incidence of at least one dorsally penetrating screw in 40% of patients in the IPC group, to 18% in the 3DVP group (p = 0.069).ConclusionThree-Dimensional Virtual Pre-Operative Planning (3DVP) may reduce the incidence of dorsally penetrating screws in patients treated with volar plating for intra-articular distal radius fractures.Level of evidence II, diagnostic imaging study.