Colles fracture

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A fracture of the distal radius caused by a fall on the outstretched arm, usually in an elderly patient. There may be characteristic dinnerfork deformity on examination .

Treatment is by reduction under anaesthetic and application of plaster cast for approximately 6 weeks and subsequent mobilization


Pattern of injury first published in 1814 by Abraham Colles.[1] The original description specified a fracture within 1.5 inches of the articular surface, but this was subsequently modified by Robert Smith to any fractures within 1 inch proximal of the joint.


  • Wrist radiograph
Colles AP.jpg
Colles lateral.jpg

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  1. Colles A. On the fracture of the carpal extremity of the radius. Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, 1814, 10: 182-186.