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October 2, 1937


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1937;109(14):1105-1108. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780400021006

Malunion occurs more frequently following Colles' fractures than any other fracture. There is considerable disability, pain and deformity associated with this lesion, and the disfigurement is particularly unsightly in women. My object in this discussion is to present a surgical procedure which accomplishes restoration of anatomic alinement and function and a wrist of which the appearance is practically normal.

Malunion of this fracture is most common for several reasons: First, failure to reduce the fracture completely. Second, recurrence of deformity after apparent reduction and confirmation by the roentgenogram. Third, excessive comminution with radial shortening. This occurs most frequently in elderly persons and rarely under the age of 45, owing to difference in structure of the bone. With the most efficient treatment, reduction may be accomplished but not always maintained, so that a certain percentage of malunion of moderate degree can be considered legitimate and excusable. This is particularly true if

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