Fractures of the distal radius are the most common fracture in adults and are typically caused by a fall on the outstretched hand.
This injury may be accompanied by fractures of the ulnar styloid, the distal ulna, and the scaphoid. Isolated scaphoid fractures can also occur and should be considered in the differential of a patient with wrist pain after a fall on their hand.
Undisplaced fractures do not have any deformity and are treated with a splint or cast.
Displaced fractures usually present with a "dinner fork" deformity and require surgical treatment (open or closed reduction and fixation).
Malunion of inadequately reduced fractures may result in decreased range of motion and grip strength, as well as pain.
Purely ligamentous injuries can be a cause of wrist pain after a fall on an outstretched hand in the setting of normal radiographs.
Type A extra-articular fracture of the distal radius: lateral view
From the collection of Dr Chaitanya S. Mudgal