Age cited as important variable in conservative treatment of distal radius fractures

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WAILEA, Hawaii – Age may be the most important variable in determining success of cast treatment for distal radius fractures, according to a presenter at Orthopedics Today Hawaii 2012.

“Distal radius fractures are a public health epidemic. Latest figures show that 450,000 to 500,000 distal radius fractures occur per year in the United States,” Thomas F. Varecka, MD, said here.

Distal radius fractures represent about 6% of all emergency department visits and about 20% of all musculoskeletal emergency department visits, he said. However, questions remained such as when to cast and what are the reasonable chances that fracture manipulation and reduction can be held with a cast. Varecka said there are now tools to predict which patients are at risk for loss of reduction/malunions.

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