A biomechanical approach to distal radius fractures for the emergency radiologist
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Distal radius fractures are the most common upper extremity fracture and account for approximately one sixth of all fractures treated in US emergency departments. These fractures are associated with significant morbidity and have a major economic impact. Radiographic evaluation of distal radius fractures is frequently performed in the emergency department setting, has a profound impact on initial management, and is essential to assessing the quality and relative success of the initial reduction. While the most appropriate definitive management of distal radius fractures remains controversial, overarching treatment principles reflect distal radius injury mechanisms and biomechanics. An intuitive understanding of the biomechanics of the distal radius and of common mechanisms of injury informs and improves the emergency radiologist’s ability to identify key imaging findings with important management implications and to communicate the critical information that emergency physicians and orthopedic surgeons need to best manage distal radius fractures.
KeywordsRadius Fracture Trauma Wrist Biomechanical Mechanism
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The work represented in this manuscript received no funding from any organization or institution.
One of the authors of this manuscript (G.S.D) is the program director of the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program. The residency program receives educational support from Synthes and Stryker.
The other authors of this manuscript declare that they have no relevant financial conflicts of interest to disclose.
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