- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Colles' fracture

Related people

Transverse fracture of the radius just above the wrist with displacement of hand backward and outward (dorsal displacement of the distal fragment). Complications may include residual deformity, loss of mobility, median and ulnar nerve injury, pain in the wrist, numbness in the fingers, shoulder-hand syndrome, and rupture of the extensor pollicis longus tendon. The injury is encountered in patients of either sex and in all age groups, but it is most common in postmenopausal women, osteoporosis being the predisposing factor.

    "Once consolation only remains, that the limb will, at some remote period, again enjoy perfect freedom in all its motions, and be completely exempt from pain; the deformity, however, will remain undiminished through life".

See also:

Smith's fracture, under Robert William Smith, Irish physician, 1807-1873.

Monteggia's fracture, under Giovanni Battista Monteggia, Italian physician and surgeon, 1762-1815.


  • A. Colles:
    On the fracture of the carpal extremity of the radius.
    Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, 1814, 10: 182-186.
    Reprinted in Medical Classics, 1940, 4: 1038-1042.

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