Smith's fracture

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Smith's fracture
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A distal radius fracture

A Smith's fracture, also sometimes known as a reverse Colles' fracture or Goyrand-Smith's, is a fracture of the distal radius.[1] It is caused by a direct blow to the dorsal forearm[2] or falling onto flexed wrists, as opposed to a Colles' fracture which occurs as a result of falling onto wrists in extension. Smith's fractures are less common than Colles' fractures.

The distal fracture fragment is displaced volarly (ventrally), as opposed to a Colles' fracture which the fragment is displaced dorsally. Depending on the severity of the impact, there may be one or many fragments and it may or may not involve the articular surface of the wrist joint.


This fracture is named after the orthopedic surgeon, Robert William Smith (1807–1873) in his book A Treatise on Fractures in the Vicinity of Joints, and on certain forms of Accidents and Congenital Dislocations published in 1847.[3]


Treatment of this fracture depends on the severity of the fracture. An undisplaced fracture may be treated with a cast alone. A fracture with mild angulation and displacement may require closed reduction. Significant angulation and deformity may require an open reduction and internal fixation. An open fracture will always require surgical intervention.


  1. ^ Thomas, Clayton L., M.D., M.P.H. (1993). Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, Edition 18. F.A. Davis. ISBN 0-8036-0194-8.
  2. ^ Stead, LG; Stead, SM; Kaufman, MS (2006). First Aid: Emergency Medicine (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-144873-X. 
  3. ^ synd/2150 at Who Named It?

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