Distal Radius Fracture is a break in the wrist part of the radius bone

It is one of the most frequently encountered fractures in daily orthopaedic practice. As with other injuries of the wrist, distal radius bone breaks often after a fall on the outstretched hand. The distal radius is especially vulnerable to fracture in elderly women, and also younger women at the beginning of their menopause.

This is because the bone starts to thin out (osteoporosis) when a woman hits menopause. Of course, distal radius fracture is not limited to perimenopausal and elderly women only. Children, adolescents and men can also sustain this fracture.

Extra Articular & Intra Articular

Distal radius fracture may be extra- or intraarticular. Intraarticular fracture is when the fracture line extends to the joint surface. In other words, there are fracture fragments involving the joint surface. Extraarticular fracture is one that does not involve the joint line. Intraarticular fracture needs perfect reduction, because the cartilage will degenerate quickly when not mended back to the right alignment.

Distal radius is the foundation of the wrist joint. A well-fixed distal radius is necessary for good wrist function. A distal radius fracture, when not treated, will result in a “messy” architecture of the wrist, and the wrist itself will be stiff.

When the fracture involves the joint surface, perfect reduction is compulsory. Arthroscopy helps achieve perfect reduction since it gives us a direct visual of the fracture line in the joint. Therefore the surgeon is able to perform reduction under direct visualization and see whether the reduction is satisfactory. Without arthroscopy, it is difficult to see the joint surface and quality of the reduction.

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Dr. Margareta Arianni Sp. OT-K

Author Dr. Margareta Arianni Sp. OT-K

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