Intra-articular Distal Radius Fractures

Abstract

Distal radius fractures are classified as intra-articular if the fracture line extends to or through the articular surface of either the radiocarpal or the distal radioulnar joints. Many distal radius fractures result from a fall on an outstretched hand. Management of intra-articular fractures is directed toward restoring the normal anatomy of the distal radius and ulna. Multiple studies have shown that the two parameters having the greatest influence on the outcome of distal radius fractures are ulnar variance and the adequacy of reduction of the articular surface.

The pathophysiology, etiology, and clinical presentation of distal radius fractures is reviewed, and considerations in management are presented. The nonsurgical management of articular fractures is extensively reviewed. Open reduction and internal fixation technique is presented, using volar and the dorsal approaches. Video is available.

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