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Distal Radius Fractures (Broken Wrist) Overview

The radius is the larger of the two bones in the forearm. The section of the radius that is connected to the wrist joint is called the distal radius. A fracture in this area is sometimes called a “broken wrist.”

Distal radius fractures are common and most often result from falling onto an outstretched hand or receiving a direct blow to the wrist.

This video describes the different types of distal radius fractures and provides information on the symptoms of a broken wrist, surgical and nonsurgical treatment options, and what to expect during recovery.

Because it contains actual surgical footage recorded in an operating room, this video may not be suitable for all viewers.

This video © American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Last Reviewed

February 2021

Contributed and/or Updated by

Stuart J. Fischer, MD, FAAOS

AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.