The purpose of this systematic review is to assess the prevalence of complications following volar locking plate fixation of distal radial fractures. A computer-based search was carried out using EMBASE and PUBMED/MEDLINE. Only prospective comparative and prospective cohort studies that presented data concerning complications after treatment of distal radial fractures with a volar locking plate in human adults with a minimal follow-up of 6 months were included. Two quality assessment tools were used to assess the methodological quality of the studies (level of evidence rating according to the Oxford Centre of Evidence Based Medicine and the modified version of the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group's former quality assessment tool). Thirty three studies were eligible for final assessment. Most complications were problems with nerve and tendon function as well as complex regional pain syndrome. With an overall complication rate of 16.5%, most of which were 'minor' complications and low rates of nonunion and malunion, volar locking plate fixation can be considered a reasonably safe treatment option for patients with distal radial fractures.
- Distal radial fractures
- Open reduction and internal fixation
- Volar plating