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Surgical correction of mal-union of a Colles' fracture

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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There are three main surgical approaches to correcting a mal-union following a Colles' fracture:

  • excision of the distal 2.5 cm of the ulna:
    • improves appearance and mobility of the wrist
    • the wrist is unstable

  • Baldwin's procedure:
    • excision of the 2 cm of the ulna, leaving the distal 2 cm of the ulna intact
    • improves appearance and mobility of the wrist

  • radial osteotomy:
    • a major procedure
    • indicated when dorsal angulation of the distal radius is the main deformity

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