Conditions & Treatments

Colles Fracture

One common cause of fractures is falling on an outstretched hand. This can result in breakage of the radius (one of the bones of the lower arm) above the wrist—called a Colles fracture. Colles fractures are common in adults, especially in individuals with osteoporosis.

Colles fractures result in swelling, tenderness, pain, and difficulty holding heavy objects. X-rays may be used to visualize the broken bone. Treatment most often consists of immobilization, but surgical reposition and sometimes fixation with a pin are required for more complicated breaks.

Recovery is normally complete, although some people may experience reduced mobility, post-traumatic arthritis, or nerve damage.