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BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr10.2009.2387.
Published online 2010 April 9. doi:  10.1136/bcr.10.2009.2387
PMCID: PMC3047489
Reminder of important clinical lesson

Simultaneous distal radius and lunate fractures: a lesson for an unwary eye

Abstract

Simultaneous distal radius and carpus fractures are uncommon. They can be missed because of a diffused clinical picture and an inexperienced clinician reviewing the patient and radiographs. A 64-year-old woman presented to the emergency department (ED) with a clinically deformed left wrist after a fall. Plain radiographs were interpreted as a distal radius intra-articular fracture with volar angulation, both by the ED physician and the first on call for trauma and orthopaedics (T&O). Review of the radiographs in the trauma meeting revealed the possibility of an additional undisplaced lunate fracture. A computed tomography scan confirmed the distal radius fracture in addition to an undisplaced fracture of the lunate. Because of the unstable nature of the distal radius fracture, open reduction and internal fixation was performed. As the lunate fracture was undisplaced, it was managed conservatively. The patient was discharged home the next day and has been doing well at follow-up.


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