Forearm Fracture Management in the ED Guidelines

Updated: Feb 04, 2022
  • Author: Toluwumi O Olafisoye , MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
  • Print

Guidelines Summary

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons clinical practice guidelines on the treatment of distal radius fractures include the following [26] :

  • Rigid immobilization is preferred to use of removable splints when nonoperative treatment is provided for management of a displaced distal radius fracture.

  • Use of removable splints is an option when a minimally displaced distal radius fracture is treated.

  • Consider operative fixation, as opposed to cast fixation, for a forearm fracture with post-reduction radial shortening >3 mm, dorsal tilt >10 degrees, or intra-articular displacement or step-off >2 mm.

  • Nonoperative treatment of a distal radius fracture should be followed by ongoing radiographic evaluation for 3 weeks and at cessation of immobilization.

  • All patients with distal radius fracture should receive a post-reduction true lateral x-ray of the carpus for assessment of distal radial ulnar joint (DRUJ) alignment.