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May 6, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(18):1803-1806. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800180027009

Functional recovery is the yardstick by which success in the treatment of any injury to a bone or a joint is measured. In fractures of the shafts of long bones a moderate deviation of bony alinement may be compatible with a good functional result. A fracture of the shaft of the humerus which has united solidly may be consistent with a good functional recovery even in the presence both of shortening and of loss of alinement. As a general rule, however, the closer the fracture line approaches the articulating end of the bone, the more important it becomes to secure good reduction of the deformity. In certain fractures, complete restoration of function cannot be obtained unless a nearly anatomic reduction of the fragments has been achieved. Colles fracture belongs to the latter group.

Examination of a roentgenogram of a normal wrist joint (fig. 1) will reveal, among other things, that

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