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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1987 May;69(3):463-7.

The value of early mobilisation in the treatment of Colles' fractures.


Unilateral Colles' fractures in 187 patients over the age of 55 years were studied in a randomised prospective trial: 97 fractures were minimally displaced and were treated either conventionally or in a crêpe bandage; 90 displaced Colles' fractures were reduced and of these 47 were treated conventionally while 43 were encouraged to mobilise the wrist in a cast which restricted extension. Early wrist movement hastened functional recovery and led to earlier resolution of wrist swelling. Discomfort was no greater than in patients who were treated conventionally. The bony deformity, which recurred irrespective of the method of treatment, was not adversely affected by early mobilisation.

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