Tag Archives: Colles

Distal Radius…

October 2, 2013


Distal Radius 1 Distal Radius 2

This is an example of a distal radius fracture that needs closed reduction.  This fracture shows dorsal and radial angulation with translational displacement of the fracture fragment roughly 50% of the bone width.  The classic eponym for this type of fracture is a Colles’ Fracture. 

Acceptable angulation on reduction is a controversial topic.  It is obviously best to get these fractures as close as anatomic as possible with less than 10-15 degrees of angulation.  Remember to get a post-reduction X-ray so that when it falls off prior to the follow up ortho visit then you can’t be blamed!

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

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November 12, 2012


Another eponym fracture, courtesy of John Neuffer, MD at WVU.  Dr. Neuffer saw a patient with a fall on an outstretched hand (FOOSH) and this was the result:

This is an example of a Colles Fracture.  Colles fracture is a distal radius fracture with dorsal displacement of the distal fracture fragment and wrist.  FOOSH is a popular mechanism of this injury as well as any other mechanism that causes an axial load on the distal wrist with extension of the hand.

There are two other interesting parts of this image:  1.  There is an ulnar styloid fracture  2.  The pisiform is dislocated.

Ulnar styloid fractures are very common with FOOSH mechanism and in conjunction with distal radius fractures.  Common xray findings with a Colles fracture include (1):

  • Transverse radius fracture
  • Dorsal displacement and angulation
  • Radial angulation of the wrist
  • Location 1 inch proximal to the radiocarpal joint
  • Radial shortening
  • Ulnar styloid fracture
  • Salter-Harris fractures in children

Pisiform dislocation is rare.  On the lateral view above you can see the pisiform is displaced off the triquetral bone (its only articulation).

This is what it should look like:


(Above is a link to Wikipedia.  James Heilman, MD has a post about the pisiform with a great lateral radiograph demonstrating a normal positioned pisiform.  Go check it out!)

Author:  Russell Jones, MD

Image Contributor:  John Neuffer, MD

Thanks to Dr. Neuffer at WVU for the image as well as pointing out a good EM blog for me to follow:  EMchatter.com.  Keep up the good work and send me more good images!


1.  Broder JS.  “Imaging the Extremities.” In: Broder JS.  Diagnostic Imaging for the Emergency Physician.  Elsevier Saunders, 2011.

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