Distal Radius Skyline View: How to Prevent Dorsal Cortical Penetration


Volar locked plating has become a standard treatment for operative stabilization of distal radius fractures. It is assumed that volar plating portends a low risk of extensor tendon irritation and rupture, especially when compared with dorsal plating constructs; however, extensor tendon tenosynovitis and rupture is a well-described complication after volar plating of the distal radius. Dorsal cortical penetration of screws may go unnoticed with traditional intraoperative fluoroscopic techniques and may contribute to extensor tendon irritation. This article presents the authors’ experience with an additional fluoroscopic dorsal tangential radiograph helping the surgeon ascertain dorsal screw prominence following volar plate fixation. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 26(3):183–186, 2017)
Key words: distal radius fracture, dorsal cortex, dorsal cortical view, extensor tendon irritation, skyline view

Benjamin C. Taylor, MD; Andy R. Malarkey, DO; Ryan L. Eschbaugh, DO; and John Gentile, DO