Contouring of the plate over the fracture site is normally not necessary. However, in more proximal and distal fractures it is necessary to contour the ends of a conventional plate to address the anatomy of the proximal and distal femur.
A locking plate does not have to be contoured at all, but to avoid soft tissue irritations, slight contouring may be necessary.
Contouring is easier when performed after provisional reduction has been achieved. For provisional reduction, traction, or a large distractor / external fixator, can be applied.
In the open technique a malleable template is helpful for matching the contours of the proximal and distal segments.