Do you know the most common fracture caused by falling on the ice?

The recent historic snowfall and subsequent drop in temperatures has caused the deposited snow to freeze and become a very slippery surface, resulting in many accidental falls.

Can we prevent slipping on ice?

Of course, and here are some tips:

  • Wear rubber-soled shoes, such as mountaineering boots.
  • Walk with short steps, stepping on the white snow, with the tips of your feet facing outwards, like a penguin, and your body leaning slightly forward.
  • Use poles for support and do not carry bags or objects in your hands or pockets.

In spite of these tips, falls occur, the hands being the parapet of the same and originating the famous Colles’ fracture, very common in this situation.

What is Colles’ fracture?

Colles’ fracture, named after Abraham Colles, the Irish physician who described it in 1814, is a fracture of the distal radius, the bone of the forearm, which is recognized by the “fork back” deformity due to the posterior displacement of the distal segment of the radius.

It is produced by a fall of the own corporal weight on the forearm and the extended wrist, being important to recognize these symptoms that will force us to request urgent medical assistance:

  • Pain in the arm or wrist immediate
  • Appearance of deformity and large edema
  • Difficulty in moving the wrist or arm.

How is Colles’ fracture treated?

Its treatment passes through the radiological evaluation, being able to be treated in two ways:

  • Surgical treatment: when fractures are displaced and the bone has fragmented into small pieces and require reduction by osteosynthesis (applying metal plates and/or pins/screws) to reattach the fractured bone segments.
  • Conservative treatment: for non-displaced fractures in which the fracture is reduced and immediately immobilized with a cast or splint for the forearm and hand for a minimum of 6 weeks.
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With the cast you should observe these tips:

  • Elevate the arm, placing it on a pillow to improve circulation and prevent edema.
  • Do not use balls to press the fingers; just move them in daily activities and free form with closing and opening of the hand.
  • After removal of the cast, you should always undergo physiotherapy treatment to achieve full functionality of the hand.