Colles fracture


  • A 57 years old lady
  • Fall with outstretched hand
  • Complains of painful swelling of the right wrist
  • Clinically swollen and deformed distal right upper limb, at wrist region
  • Shoulder and elbows are normal
Radiograph of elbow in AP and lateral views

Radiographic findings:

  • A transverse fracture at distal radius (white arrows)
  • No extension to involve the articular surface
  • There is dorsal angulation of fracture fragment
  • Distal radio-ulnar joint is normal
  • No fracture of ulnar styloid or the carpal bones.
  • There is associated soft tissue swelling anteriorly (yellow arrow)

Diagnosis: Colles fracture


  • Colles fracture is an extra-articular fractures of the distal radius
  • They consist of a fracture of the distal radial metaphyseal region with dorsal angulation and impaction, but without the involvement of the articular surface.
  • This is the most common type of distal radius fracture.
  • An associated ulnar styloid fracture is seen in about 50% of cases, which is not seen in this case.
  • The majority are treated with closed reduction and immobilization.
  • Complications include malunion causing dinner fork deformity, secondary osteoarthritis, median nerve palsy and post traumatic carpal tunnel syndrome
Author: radhianahassan