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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1991 Mar;73(2):312-5.

The treatment of Colles' fracture. Immobilisation with the wrist dorsiflexed.

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LNJP Hospital, New Delhi, India.


In a prospective study, 204 consecutive patients with displaced Colles' fractures had closed reduction then plaster immobilisation. Three different positions of the wrist in plaster were randomly allocated: palmar flexion, neutral and dorsiflexion. The results in the three groups were compared. Fractures immobilised with the wrist in dorsiflexion showed the lowest incidence of redisplacement, especially of dorsal tilt, and had the best early functional results. Immobilisation of the wrist in palmar flexion has a detrimental effect on hand function; it is suggested that it is also one of the main causes for redisplacement of the fracture. This is discussed in relation to the functional anatomy of the wrist and the mechanics of plaster fixation.

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