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MINERVA ORTOPEDICA E TRAUMATOLOGICA
A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology
Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2005 October;56(5):393-410
Treatment and complications of distal radius fractures
Karnezis A. I.
Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Athens Medical Centre, Athens, Greece
Distal radius fractures are common injuries occurring at an incidence of 27-38 cases per 10000 population per year with significant predominance of post-menopausal women. The goals of treatment include early restoration of function by accurate restoration of the anatomy including the volar tilt, radial angle and radial shortening along with congruity of the articular surfaces. Assessment of the stability of the injury, by considering factors such as the degree of displacement, comminution, energy of the injury and the quality of bone is of paramount importance in decision-making regarding management. Closed reduction and cast immobilization is still the mainstay of treatment for undisplaced or minimally-displaced fractures, while percutaneous wire fixation, external skeletal fixation and open reduction and internal fixation along with arthroscopically-assisted reduction techniques and use of new bone substitute materials have contributed to significantly improved outcomes in more complex fractures. Avoidance and early management of complications is achieved by a thorough knowledge and understanding of the entire spectrum of potential early and late complications that may follow a fracture of the distal radius.