Angus Keogh Procedures – Distal Radius Fractures
Distal Radius Fractures
Fractures of the distal radius (the bone at the end of the forearm) are becoming more and more common. The combination of an ageing population and increased longevity means that this fracture, which is commonly associated with fragility of bones, is seen increasingly in orthopaedic surgery. Over the last 15 years, improvements in screw and plate technology have meant that there are better ways to fix the bones of the wrist than there were previously. Hence, the regularity with which the radius is being fixed with plates and screws is increasing. Additionally, having the bone fixed allows earlier return to function as the wrist can be mobilised out of a splint under supervision immediately following the surgery.
The rehabilitation following a distal radius fracture involves having a splint applied by Hand Therapists the day following surgery and commencing range of movement. The splint is worn for six weeks when not performing exercises. After this, a further four weeks of only light lifting (2kg) is allowed followed by full return to function at 10 weeks.