Dorsal locking plates versus staples in four-corner fusion: A comparative clinical and radiological study.

Orthopaedics & traumatology, surgery & research : OTSR

PubMedID: 25155202

Pauchard N, Lecoanet-Strugarek C, Segret J, De Gasperi M, Dap F, Dautel G. Dorsal locking plates versus staples in four-corner fusion: A comparative clinical and radiological study. Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2014;.
INTRODUCTION
Four-corner fusion was described in 1984 by HK Watson for the treatment of SLAC wrist. This intervention has undergone few changes since that description, but the debate on the fixation method is still not resolved.

HYPOTHESIS
Dorsal locking plates provide better stability, short immobilization and a quicker return to daily activities than traditional fixation methods such as staples.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Thirty-one fusions using the Medartis Aptus Four-Corner Fusion(®) plate at a mean 13.1months' follow-up and 35 using staples at a mean 80.4months' follow-up were reviewed in a clinical and radiographic retrospective comparative study.

RESULTS
Results were comparable between the two groups in terms of range of motion (flexion-extension arc of 67.3° for plates and 60.6° for staples), force (29.6 and 28kg.F), pain and disability (PRWE 34.8/150 and 40.9; QuickDASH 19.83/100 and 30). Mean time off work was significantly shorter in the plate group (4.5 vs. 7.9months). There were no non-unions in the plate group, versus 2 in the staples group. Dorsal impingement implicating hardware was also less frequent in the plate group (2 vs. 11).

DISCUSSION
The dorsal locking plate did not improve final results in four-corner fusion in terms of range of motion, force, pain or function compared to staples. However, it provided stable fixation, allowing a shorter immobilization and a quicker return to work. Although the initial cost is higher, it could allow significant savings on postoperative costs, shifting the technical debate into the field of public health.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE
Level IV, retrospective study.