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01.12.2014 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2014 Open Access

Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology 4/2014

A new volar plate made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polyetheretherketon for distal radius fracture: analysis of 40 cases

Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology > Ausgabe 4/2014
Luigi Tarallo, Raffaele Mugnai, Roberto Adani, Francesco Zambianchi, Fabio Catani



Implants based on the polyetheretherketon (PEEK) polymer have been developed in the last decade as an alternative to conventional metallic devices. PEEK devices may provide several advantages over the use of conventional orthopedic materials, including the lack of metal allergies, radiolucency, low artifacts on magnetic resonance imaging scans and the possibility of tailoring mechanical properties. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical results at 12-month follow-up using a new plate made of carbon-fiber-reinforced polyetheretherketon for the treatment of distal radius fractures.

Materials and methods

We included 40 consecutive fractures of AO types B and C that remained displaced after an initial attempt at reduction. The fractures were classified according to the AO classification: 21 fractures were type C1, 9 were type C2, 2 were type C3, 2 were type B1 and 6 were type B2.


At a 12-month follow-up no cases of hardware breakage or loss of the surgically achieved fracture reduction were documented. All fractures healed, and radiographic union was observed at an average of 6 weeks. The final Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder and Hand score was 6.0 points. The average grip strength, expressed as a percentage of the contralateral limb, was 92 %. Hardware removal was performed only in one case, for the occurrence of extensor tenosynovitis.


At early follow-up this device showed good clinical results and allowed maintenance of reduction in complex, AO fractures.

Type of study/level of evidence

Therapeutic IV.
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