Group releases new recommendations for distal radial fracture treatment

June 28, 2013

Topic: orthopaedic fracture

Post-menopausal women who break their wrists may have experienced a decrease in physical strength.

The Distal Radius Working Group of the International Society for Fracture Repair and the International Osteoporosis Foundation recently added seven new recommendations in order to standardize methods of outcome measurement for treating distal radius fractures.

The group agreed that when treating these orthopaedic fractures, doctors should first and foremost aim to get rid of pain at the injury site and fully restore function.

"In regard to distal radius fractures there is currently no agreed-upon definition of what should be measured in a clinical trial. As a result, researchers are faced with heterogeneous information - a serious barrier to high-quality research in the evaluation of outcomes or definition of intervention thresholds," said Jörg Goldhahn, M.D., lecturer at the Institute for Biomechanics of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and president-elect of the ISFR.

Distal radius fractures are very common, and radial breaks are the most frequently broken bone in the arm, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Among the elderly population, this mishap is the the second most prevalent fracture and often indicates that the patient is either at risk for or has osteoporosis.

When a person has osteoporosis, his or her bones tend to be weaker than a healthy person's bones and therefore are more likely to break. Because the condition can be silent, an affected individual may not know that he or she has it until he or she suffers a fracture. This underscores the importance of osteoporosis screening, as it can be an injury prevention strategy in itself.

According to the National Institutes of Health, doctors can order a bone mineral density test for people who may be at risk for osteoporosis. In order to prevent the condition, people should regularly engage in physical activity, not smoke cigarettes and eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D. 

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