Barton's fracture

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Barton's fracture
3D-rendered CT of Barton's fracture.jpg
A palmar Barton's fracture of the right wrist, as shown on a 3D-rendered CT scan
Lateral projectional radiograph of the same fracture.

A Barton's fracture is an intra-articular fracture of the distal radius with dislocation of the radiocarpal joint.

There exist two types of Barton's fracture - dorsal[1] and palmar, the latter being more common. The Barton's fracture is caused by a fall on an extended and pronated wrist increasing carpal compression force on the dorsal rim. Intra-articular component distinguishes this fracture from a Smith's or a Colles' fracture. Treatment of this fracture is usually done by open reduction and internal fixation with a plate and screws, but occasionally the fracture can be treated conservatively.


It is named after John Rhea Barton (1794-1871), an American surgeon who first described this in 1838.[2][3]


  1. ^ Dorsal Barton's Fracture / Dorsal Shearing Frx - Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics
  2. ^ synd/2821 at Who Named It?
  3. ^ J. R. Barton. Views and treatment of an important injury of the wrist. Medical Examiner, Philadelphia, 1838, 1: 365-368.

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