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Colles' fracture of the wrist is among the most common bony injuries encountered in emergency practice, and accounts for 10% to 20% of all fractures. Described in an excellent clinical treatise some 8 decades before the advent of radiographs, this fracture of the distal radius continues to pose a source of some disability to large numbers of patients. Complications include residual deformity, loss of mobility, median and ulnar nerve injury, shoulder-hand syndrome, and rupture of the extensor pollicis longus tendon. Although encountered in patients of either sex and in all age groups, this injury classically affects postmenopausal women, who are predisposed to it as a consequence of osteoporosis. The technique of immobilization appears not to be as important in influencing final outcome as does the precision of reduction.
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Accepted: October 29, 1984
Received: April 21, 1984
© 1985 Published by Elsevier Inc.