Treatment may range from simple immobilization with a splint and sling to a lightweight fiberglass cast. If cast immobilization is insufficient to repair the fracture, surgery may be necessary and the break may need to be fixed with a plate and screws, pins, or an external fixation device.
Older people with Colles' fractures often fail to regain full mobility of the wrist joint. Carpal tunnel syndrome may occur as an early or late complication of the injury. Chronic pain may result from injury to the ligaments or the joint surface of the wrist. In addition, in older patients, the fracture is usually related to osteoporosis, so treatment for osteoporosis is advised.
For patients who need hospital care after surgery, there are floors dedicated to orthopedic patients at Virtua Marlton and Virtua Memorial. These units specialize in the care of orthopedic patients and are staffed by nurses with additional education in orthopaedics. Physical therapy is also provided right on these orthopedic units.
Virtua offers a multi-disciplinary team led by a surgeon, supported by orthopedic nurses, case managers to help you make the transition from the hospital to home and physical therapists.