Distal radius fractures in the athlete

Hand and Wrist Sports Medicine (E Tolo and L Dwyer, section editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Hand and Wrist Sports Medicine


Purpose of Review

Distal radius fractures are one of the most common upper extremity fractures. Athletes with distal radius fractures are treated according to the same principles as non-athletes but present several unique considerations. At all levels of sport, injured athletes desire to return to play as rapidly as possible.

Recent Findings

Earlier operative fixation may allow an athlete to return to play more quickly. Volar locking plates are most commonly used for operative treatment of distal radius fractures due to their stability and low incidence of complications.


Although the majority of distal radius fractures in athletes are treated non-operatively, operative intervention is offered when required to restore and maintain acceptable skeletal alignment. Return to sport is individualized guided by fracture stability, athlete age, and wrist-specific demands for competition.


Athlete Distal radius Fracture Rehabilitation Sport Surgery 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Casey Beleckas does not have any conflict of interest.

Ryan Calfee reports research support from Medartis outside of the submitted work.

Human and animal rights and informed consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington University School of MedicineSt LouisUSA

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