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.