Forearm Fractures in Emergency Medicine Guidelines

Updated: May 09, 2016
  • Author: Toluwumi Jegede, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Guidelines

Guidelines Summary

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons clinical practice guideline on the treatment of distal radius fractures includes the following [15] :

  • Rigid immobilization in preference to removable splints when using nonoperative treatment for the management of displaced distal radius fractures.
  • Removable splints is an option when treating minimally displaced distal radius fractures.
  • The work group suggests operative fixation for fractures with postreduction radial shortening >3 mm, dorsal tilt >10 degrees, or intra-articular displacement or step-off >2 mm, as opposed to cast fixation.
  • Distal radius fractures that are treated nonoperatively should be followed by ongoing radiographic evaluation for 3 weeks and at cessation of immobilization.
  • All patients with distal radius fractures should receive a post-reduction true lateral x-ray of the carpus to assess DRUJ (distal radial ulnar joint )alignment.