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Distal radial fracture

Distal radial fracture
  • Definition

    Wrist fracture or distal radius fracture is one of the most common, and usually occurs if it falls on the outstretched or flexed hand. The appearance of intense pain and swelling is common to all fractures and, in this case, this manifestation appears almost immediately. The presence of a bruise in the area is normal, and usually during one or two days it grows larger, but the body reabsorbs it over the days without leaving external signs. Loss of wrist mobility and visible deformity is another common feature.

    There are many types of distal radius fractures, the most common is the Colles fracture, which in most cases can be treated with a cast immobilization, but sometimes, due to the characteristics of the fracture or due to their displacement, they will require surgical treatment.
  • Indications

    Surgery for distal radius fractures may be recommended in case of:

    Displaced fractures of the radius and distal ulna with or without joint involvement that cannot be immobilized with a cast or that during radiological follow-up after the initial reduction of the fracture and placement of the cast, the fracture is observed to move again.

    Patients who, due to other needs, need to regain wrist mobility sooner and cannot keep the cast for 6 weeks.
  • Risks

    The risks of anesthesia and surgery in general are:

    Allergic reactions to medications
    Respiratory problems
    Bleeding, blood clots, infection

    The risks of radial fracture osteosynthesis are:

    Wrist stiffness
    Lack of effectiveness of surgery to relieve pain
    Insufficient repair to heal (pseudoartrosis)
    Weakness of the hand and wrist
    Injury to a blood vessel or nerve
  • Prospects (prognosis)

    Surgery for distal radius fractures generally produces less pain and stiffness, fewer complications, short hospitalizations, and faster recovery than conservative treatment.

    If you have had surgery, your body needs time to heal, take the prescribed medication, keep your limb up and move your fingers to help improve postoperative inflammation.

    The results will depend on the previous pathology of the wrist, but they are satisfactory in more than 90% of the patients after following the prescribed recovery process, which usually takes 3-4 months.

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