Colles' fracture


Causes Diagnosis Management
  • Colles fracture affects the distal end of radius and occurs from fall on outstretched hand.
  • Affects osteoporotic bone and therefore commoner in elderly females.
  • Affects the distal part of radius which forms a fragment displaced laterally and impacted.
  • Inspection:- Dinner fork deformity
  • Palpation: impaction and displacement of distal fragment causes the styloid process of radius to be placed more superior than normal
  • X-ray
  • Reduction involves several processes as follows
    • Disimpact the distal radial fragment by providing traction of the hand.
    • Displace fragment medially, and then anteriorly, followed by pronation.
    • Apply bandage in this position with a dorsoradial plaster slab. This should be maintained with cotton wool padding for 24 hours.
    • After edema is settled then place below the elbow complete plaster which immobilises the elbow and wrist and allows the fingers to move comfortably for 6 weeks.
    • Begin to exercise the fingers early for good functionality


Arrow points to characteristic dinner fork deformity and also to the displaced distal fragment of radius.



Electronic School of Medicine
Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti