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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2010 Mar;18(3):180-9.

Treatment of distal radius fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics Surgery, University of North Texas Health Science Center, John Peter Smith Hospital, Fort Worth, TX, USA.


The clinical practice guideline is based on a systematic review of published studies on the treatment of distal radius fractures in adults. None of the 29 recommendations made by the work group was graded as strong; most are graded as inconclusive or consensus; seven are graded as weak. The remaining five moderate-strength recommendations include surgical fixation, rather than cast fixation, for fractures with postreduction radial shortening >3 mm, dorsal tilt >10 degrees , or intra-articular displacement or step-off >2 mm; use of rigid immobilization rather than removable splints for nonsurgical treatment; making a postreduction true lateral radiograph of the carpus to assess dorsal radial ulnar joint alignment; beginning early wrist motion following stable fixation; and recommending adjuvant treatment with vitamin C to prevent disproportionate pain.

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