Purpose: Miniplates were initially developed as targets for foot and hand fractures, but they have been used in the treatment of fixation of small bone fragments, reduction of long bone fractures and non-union treatment, which have been difficult to treat. In this study, the authors used miniplates to treat fractures of the upper extremities, lower extremities, and pelvis obtained good outcomes. Herein, the authors report these good outcomes and review the current concept of miniplates. Patients and methods: Forty-two patients treated with miniplates between March 2012 and March 2017 who attended follow-up for > 1 year were included in this retrospective study. Miniplates were selected according to purpose, which was classified into three categories: fixation, reduction, and stability enhancement. For fixation, miniplates were used to fix distal fibular fractures occurring distal to the syndesmosis and treat patellar and olecranon fractures with severe comminution. For reduction, miniplates were used to reduce the tibia during intramedullary nailing in tibiofibular shaft fractures, while reduction was performed in advance of definitive plating fixation in patients with humeral and pelvic fractures. To enhance stability, the miniplate was inserted after autobone graft for atrophic nonunion at the humeral shaft following nail insertion. The validity of a miniplate was analyzed by reviewing the published literature on the use of miniplates in orthopedic fracture surgeries. Results: Bony union was achieved in all cases. No specific postoperative complications were observed; however, mild pain and limited range of motion observed in two patients were resolved after implant removal. Sixteen studies on fracture treatment using miniplates reported clinically fair outcomes. Conclusion: Miniplates are not just small metal plates. Depending on the location and treatment of the fracture, the miniplate can effectively fix small bone fragments, help the main plate to maintain the reduction of large bone fragments, and increase the fixation force for nonunion treatment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine