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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X


RACHUENE, Pududu A et al. Distal radius fractures: current concepts. SA orthop. j. [online]. 2021, vol.20, n.4, pp.231-239. ISSN 2309-8309.

Distal radius fractures (DRFs) are commonly encountered in the elderly population, secondary to low-energy injury mechanisms. In the younger population, DRFs are mainly secondary to high-energy trauma. Stable DRFs can be treated conservatively. However, in the elderly population group, DRFs are often unstable and are likely to benefit from surgical intervention. They are often compounded by comorbid medical conditions requiring optimisation. When treating the elderly group, one should be aware of sarcopaenia, as this may have a bearing on return to function. Recent literature reports an increasing trend in the surgical management of these fractures. Current classification systems fail to consistently guide the management of these fractures. Although evidence is still limited in guiding decision-making in the treatment of these fractures, one should consider the economic implications of prolonged immobilisation in young patients in addition to defined indications for surgery. Improvement in implants allows safe dorsal fixation in patients with dorsal comminution, with low complication rates reported. This narrative review summarises current trends and the body of evidence. Level of evidence: Level 5

Keywords : distal radius; fracture management; osteoporosis.

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