Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research;13(1)
Background Several studies published over the last decade indicate an increased incidence of distal radius fractures (DRF). With Norway having one of the highest reported incidence of DRFs, we conducted a study to assess the epidemiology of DRFs and its treatment in the catchment area of Akershus University Hospital (AHUS). Methods Patients 16 years or older who presented to AHUS with an acute DRF during the years 2010 and 2011 were prospectively recorded and classified according to the AO fracture classification system. The mechanism of injury and treatment modality were noted. Results Overall, 1565 patients with an acute DRF presented to the institution in 2010–2011, of which 1134 (72%) were women. The overall annual incidence was 19.7 per 10,000 inhabitants 16 years or older. Women had an exponential increase in incidence after the age of 50, though the incidence for both genders peaked after the age of 80 years. There was an even distribution between extra- and intra-articular fractures. Falling while walking outside was the most common mechanism of injury. Of the 1565 registered, 418 (26.7%) patients underwent surgery, with a volar locking plate being the preferred surgical option in 77% of the cases. Conclusion The overall incidence of distal radius fractures was lower in our study than earlier reports from Norway. Postmenopausal women had a higher risk of fracture than the other groups, and low-energy injuries were most dominant. 26.7% were treated operatively, which is higher than earlier reports, and might reflect an increasing preference for surgical treatment.
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