The radius is one of the two bones that make up the forearm. The end of the radius (or distal radius) forms part of the wrist and is one of the most common areas of fracture. That’s because the distal radius slightly protrudes out and is more exposed than any other part of the bone.
Fractures of this end are more likely to be found in the older age group with a history of fall on an outstretched hand. In young people, fractures of the distal radius can come about from a traffic accident. This can cause multiple fractures and severe ligament or tendon injury requiring urgent surgical reconstruction and proper hand physiotherapy.
In most cases, fractures of the distal radius are limited to the bone itself. A particular deformity called the dinner fork deformity of the wrist joint is sometimes associated with the fracture of the distal radius. This is so called because of its appearance like a dinner fork turned inwards.
However, not all fractures of the radius will result in a deformity. Milder cases will only cause the bone to be displaced which can be visualized from the X-ray of the wrist joint. Splining and rest will usually suffice in treating mild cases, but surgery may be required to correct the displacement.
When the displacement is severe enough to limit mobility, titanium plates implantation might be the best treatment option. This technique results in a more stabilized wrist joint and better long-term outcomes.
Typically most fractures will heal on their own within six weeks given that proper rest has been received.