. How Are Osteoporosis & Colles Fracture Related? | Advanced Hand

How Are Osteoporosis & Colles Fracture Related?

How Are Osteoporosis & Colles Fracture Related Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be more prone to fractures than others? Well, it turns out that osteoporosis, a bone disease that weakens bones, can significantly increase the risk of a Colles fracture.  

In this article, we will dive deep into the link between osteoporosis and Colles fracture, including the symptoms, prevention tips and treatment options. Keep reading to find out more.  

What is a Colles fracture?  

A Colles fracture, also known as a distal radius fracture, is a common type of wrist injury that occurs when a person falls and lands on their outstretched hand. Fun fact: It is named after Abraham Colles, an Irish surgeon who first described the injury in 1814  

This type of wrist fracture happens when the radius bone, which is one of the two long bones in the forearm, breaks near the wrist joint. Pain, swelling and difficulty moving the wrist ensue as a result. In some cases, the broken bone may even protrude through the skin, requiring immediate medical attention.   

What is the correlation between osteoporosis and Colles fracture?  

What are the symptoms of a Colles fracture-wrist fracture  

The correlation between these two conditions lies in the fact that osteoporosis weakens the bones, making them more prone to fractures. In fact, studies have shown that people with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer from a wrist fracture compared to those not suffering from the condition. Furthermore, older adults, particularly women, are more susceptible to both osteoporosis and Colles fracture as they tend to lose bone density more rapidly after menopause.  

It is worth noting that not all Colles fractures are caused by osteoporosis, as they can also occur due to other reasons, such as trauma or sports injuries. However, having osteoporosis can significantly increase the risk of developing a Colles fracture.   

Learn more: The Common Hand & Wrist Injuries Due To A Fall & How To Treat Them  

What are the symptoms of a Colles fracture?  

The symptoms of a Colles wrist fracture can vary depending on the severity of the injury, but these are some of the common ones to take note of.   

  • Pain
You may feel sudden, intense pain in your wrist which can worsen when you move your wrist or try to grasp objects.  

  • Swelling
You may experience swelling and tenderness around your wrist due to inflammation from the injury.  

  • Deformity
The affected wrist may appear bent or crooked, which is a telltale sign of a Colles fracture.  

  • Bruising
You may notice bruising or discoloration around the wrist or forearm, which can be a result of internal bleeding.  

  • Limited range of motion
You may find it difficult to move your wrist, make a fist or grasp objects due to pain and swelling.  

  • Numbness or tingling
In some cases, nerve damage can occur as a result of the fracture, leading to numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers or hand.  
If you experience any of these symptoms after a fall or other traumatic event that involves your wrist, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. A hand surgeon in Singapore will perform a physical exam and order imaging tests to help diagnose the condition and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.   

How is a Colles fracture treated?  

How is a Colles fracture treated-hand surgery singapore  

The treatment plan depends on the severity of the injury, fracture pattern, hand dominance, functional or physical demands and your overall health.   

  • Immobilisation
Most Colles fracture cases can be treated with immobilisation of the affected wrist using a cast or brace. It helps to keep the bones in place while they heal and you may be advised to avoid activities that will put stress on your wrist during this period.   

  • Physical therapy
Once the cast or brace is removed, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help restore the strength and range of motion in your wrist.  

  • Surgery
In severe cases where the bone is displaced or broken in several places, hand surgery may be required to realign the bones and hold them in place with metal plates, screws and/or wires. Your hand surgeon will be able to advise if surgery is the right treatment depending on your condition.   

Learn more: Things To Expect After A Hand Surgery In Singapore  

How can you prevent a Colles fracture?  

Taking steps to maintain strong bones, prevent falls and protect yourself during sports or other activities can help reduce your risk of a Colles fracture.   

  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D
Consuming a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong and healthy, reducing your risk of fractures. Good dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, leafy green vegetables and fortified cereals, while vitamin D can be obtained from fatty fish. It will be good to check your vitamin D levels at some point as some people are actually deficient in vitamin D and may need vitamin D supplements.  

  • Engage in weight-bearing exercise
Exercises such as walking, jogging and weightlifting can help strengthen your bones and improve bone density, reducing your risk of fractures.   

  • Prevent falls
Taking steps to prevent falls is crucial in reducing the risk of fractures, particularly in older adults. Some effective measures include keeping your home well-lit and free of tripping hazards, using handrails on stairs and wearing appropriate footwear.  

  • Screening for osteoporosis
Patients identified by doctors to be at high risk for osteoporosis are recommended to undergo osteoporosis screening which includes bone mineral density testing to prevent osteoporotic fracture such as Colles fracture.  

Do not let a fracture break your stride  

Osteoporosis and Colles fractures are closely linked, with low bone density increasing the risk of this type of injury. While a Colles fracture is a painful condition, prompt medical attention can help ensure an optimum outcome.  

Dr Jacqueline Tan, a hand and wrist surgeon in Singapore at Advanced Hand, Wrist & Nerve Centre, is committed to helping patients protect their bone health and live active, healthy lives.   

Get in touch with us today!