Distal radial fracture (Colles' fracture)
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Measurement of different angles and lines in assessment of a distal radial fractures (see text)
Assessment of a distal radial fracture includes taking the following measurements :
- Radial height (AP): two lines perpendicular to the radial shaft are drawn. One is drawn along the articular surface and the second is drawn along the syloid tip. Normal (9.9mm - 17.3mm) <9mm suggests impacted fracture of the radial head.
- Radial inclination(AP): is the angle of the distal radial surface with respect to a line perpendicular to the shaft. A normal slope should be 15° - 25°
- Volar tilt (Lateral): is the angle of the distal radial surface with respect to a line perpendicular shaft. 10°- 25° is considered normal; a negative angle (zero in the case shown) indicates dorsal angulation.
- Ulnar variance: is the height of the ulnar height with respect to the radial articular surface. Normally 9 - 12mm, it is described as being zero, positive or negative and depends upon several factors including radiographic positioning. Equivocal cases should be compared with the contralateral side.