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What is a Colles fracture?



A Colles fracture is a fracture of the radius bone just above the wrist, which is commonly caused by a fall on an outstretched hand.


What causes a Colles fracture?



A Colles fracture occurs most frequently from a fall onto an outstretched hand, but any sudden force pushing the hand backwards (as might be experienced in a car accident) can be responsible for this type of fracture.


What are the symptoms/effects of a Colles fracture?



If you have fractured your wrist symptom may include:
  • Pain
  • 'Dinner fork' deformity due to the shape of the forearm
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness

Diagnosis of a Colles fracture



A diagnosis of a Colles fracture is usually made following a physical examination and an X-Ray. If you suspect you have broken your wrist you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.


Physiotherapy following a Colles fracture



A Colles fracture is usually supported in a plaster of Paris cast for about six weeks. Physiotherapy following removal of this cast is vital to regain movement and strength in your wrist and hand in a safe and effective way.

Our physiotherapists at Manchester Physio are experienced at treating people following a Colles fracture and will get you back to you full function as quickly as possible.

Physiotherapy will reduce your pain, regain your range of movement, improve your muscle strength and return you to those activities you enjoy.

Physiotherapy treatment at Manchester Physio may include:
  • Soft tissue massage to relieve tension and tight muscles
  • Ice and heat therapy to relieve pain and stiffness
  • Electrotherapy
  • Passive stretching to regain range of movement
  • Active range of movement exercises to gradually improve strength and function
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Advice about how to modify activities whilst your fracture is still healing
  • Gradual return to hobbies and sporting activities
At Manchester Physio, your physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan suited to you and your lifestyle so that you make a full recovery.


If you would like more information about physiotherapy for a Colles fracture, or to book an appointment please call 0161 883 0077.




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