Distal Radius Fracture

Distal radius fracture usually occurs from a slip and fall onto the outstretched hand.

It is a “wrist” fracture. There will be pain, swelling and sometimes deformity of the wrist if the fracture is badly displaced.

Distal radius fractures, if undisplaced, can usually be treated effectively initially with a plaster backslab (half plaster), followed by a full plaster cast a week later when the swelling from the fracture had subsided.

Displaced distal radius fractures may need to be manipulated and reduced.

Some may even require open surgery to reduce the fracture and to use metal plate and screws to hold the fractures together.

Distal Radius Malunion

A fracture of the distal radius that was no reduced and allowed to heal in the abnormal position is said to have “distal radius malunion”.

This condition can affect the ability of the person to move the wrist.

The wrist tends to become deformed, stiff and sometimes painful.

X-rays of the affected wrist showed distal radius fracture malunion.

The affected wrist had limited active range of motions.

Pronation was 70 degrees, supination was only 10 degrees. Flexion was 40 degrees, extension was 40 degrees.

Treatment

A corrective osteotomy of the malunited distal radius fracture was necessary to enable this wrist to regain good functional range of motions.

Outcome

 

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