Smith's Fracture

- See:
       - Barton's Fracture
- Discussion:
     - extra-articular palmarly displaced distal radius frx;
     - volar angulation of frx is referred to as "Garden Spade" deformity (reversed Colles Fracture);
     - hand & wrist are displaced forward or volarly w/ respect to forearm;
     - frx may be extra articular, intra articular, or be part of frx dislocation of wrist;
- Mechanism:
     - backward fall on the palm of an outstreched hand causing pronation of upper extremity while the hand is fixed to the ground;
- Classification:
     - Type I:   extra articular;
     - Type II:  crosses into the dorsal articlar surface;
     - Type III: enters radiocarpal joint
            - Volar Barton's Fracture = Smith's type III
            - both involve volar dislocation of carpus assoc w/ intra articular distal radius component;
- Reduction:
    - frx should be closed reduced by reversing frx deformity w/ longitudinal traction & applying as long arm cast w/ forearm in supination & wrist in neutral;
- Non Operative Rx:
      - if closed reduction is attempted, the wrist should remain in extension;
- Surgical Treatment:
    - ORIF (or External Fixators) is treatment of choice for volar displaced fractures, esp intra articular types II and III;
    - Ex fix for open Smith's frx is acceptable for wound considerations;
    - Reduction w/ flouro & supplementary K wires may be needed for Smith's type II frxs, to insure anatomic alignment of radiocarpal joint;
    - Smith's Type III: Barton's Fracture:
           - volarly displaced frx of Smith's or volar Barton's type is approached thru volar incision and appication of a buttress plate;
           - displaced volar spike (Melone type III) may also require volar approach;
           - incision is made thru proximally extended carpal tunnel incision, w/ reflection of pronator quadratus from radius;
           - plate is contoured to fit metaphyseal curvature, & distal frag screws are rarely indicated;
           - during open reduction of distal radius, surgeon needs to examine articular surface reduction of radioscaphoid, radiolunate, and distal radioulnar joints, and treat each appropriately;
           - there is little indication for primary excision of distal ulna

Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Friday, January 4, 2013 11:18 am