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Distal Radius Fracture Specialist

Jonathan Oheb, MD -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Jonathan Oheb, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon & Hand Surgeon located in Beverly Hills, CA & Encino, CA

The distal radius is one of the most frequently fractured bones, a fact that won’t come as a surprise when you know that a distal radius fracture is more commonly known as a broken wrist. Dr. Jonathan Oheb is an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and individualized treatment of distal radius fractures. Prompt treatment is important to ensure optimal healing following a wrist injury, so call one of the offices in Beverly Hills, Encino, and Mission Hills, California, or book an appointment online.

Distal Radius Q & A

What is the distal radius?

distal radius photo

The radius is the larger of your two forearm bones -- the one on the thumb side of your arm. It connects the hand to the elbow, where it’s responsible for wrist motion and forearm rotation.

The part of the radius closest to you hand -- the distal radius -- is included in the wrist joint. In fact, it represents about 80% of the wrist joint and bears nearly the full load when you fall onto an outstretched hand. As a result, a distal radius fracture is considered to be a wrist fracture.

What are the most common types of distal radius fractures?

The distal radius typically fractures about one inch from the end of the bone, but the break can occur in a variety of patterns. It can break into more than two pieces or the fracture could extend into the wrist joint, but the two most common distal radius fractures are:

Colles’ fracture

This type of distal radius fracture occurs when you fall on an outstretched hand while the hand is bent backward at the wrist.

Smith’s fracture

This is the opposite of a Colles’ fracture, and happens when your hand is flexed forward under the wrist as you fall.

What are the symptoms of a distal radius fracture?

The extent of your symptoms is directly related to the severity of your fracture. You may experience symptoms such as:

  • Wrist pain of varying degrees
  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Bruising of your wrist and forearm
  • Deformity of your wrist
  • Inability to move or use your wrist or hand
  • Inability to perform gripping or squeezing actions

You need immediate medical attention when your pain is severe, you see a deformity, or any part of the bone breaks through your skin.

How is a broken distal radius treated?

After diagnostic imaging and classifying the type of distal radius fracture, Dr. Oheb determines the best treatment for your fracture. He always takes the most conservative approach possible based on your injury, such as immobilizing your wrist with a cast or performing a nonsurgical closed reduction to realign the bones.

Fractures that are unstable, extend into the wrist or involve bone fragmentation may require surgery to put everything back in the proper alignment. Following surgery, the bones may need a variety of fixtures to hold them in place while they heal. In addition to a cast, this could include pins, plates, and screws, or an external fixator.

Dr. Oheb has two offices located conveniently in Los Angeles County and patients drive from all over just to see him. Patients travel from areas such as West Hills, Canoga Park, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Woodland Hills, Hidden Hills, Chatsworth, North Hills, Panorama City, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Mission Hills, San Fernando, Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, Sylmar, Santa Clarita, Burbank, and Glendale.

Don’t wait to seek help for a distal radius injury, call Dr. Oheb for a detailed evaluation and treatment.