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Distal Radius Fracture- Colles Fracture

A Colles’ fracture — or distal radius fracture — is often called a ”broken wrist.” Technically, it’s a break in the larger of the two bones in your forearm. The radius is the larger of the two bones of the forearm. The end toward the wrist is called the distal end. A fracture of the distal radius occurs when the area of the radius near the wrist breaks.

Colles’ fractures are very common; they’re the most frequently broken bone in the arm. Broken wrists are common in people who play contact sports, as well as skiers, inline skaters, and bikers. People with osteoporosis or thinning of the bones are at particularly high-risk for wrist fractures. But they can happen to anyone who takes a fall or gets hit.


  • Immediate acute pain
  • Wrist hanging in an odd or bent way
  • Pain, especially when flexing the wrist
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

If the injury is very painful, if the wrist is deformed or numb or the fingers are not pink, it is necessary to go to the emergency room.

Remember, these are general symptoms and may not apply to you and your fracture. Ask your doctor for specifics in your case. Your doctor knows that returning to activities is important to you.