Bartons Fracture

Bartons Fracture is a fracture of the distal radius bone at the base of the thumb. This fracture is sometimes also called a fracture dislocation.

Barton's fracture symptoms

Symptoms of a Bartons fracture include sudden pain at the time of the injury. There will be pain and difficulty trying to move the wrist which may appear deformed. There will be rapid swelling and bruising may develop. The wrist will be very tender to touch over the site of the fracture.

Causes

A Barton fracture occurs from a fall onto an outstretched hand, with the palm facing downwards.

Bartons fractures can be either dorsal or volar (or palmar), with the latter being more common. The difference is the exact location of the fracture, being either dorsal (on the back of the wrist) or volar (on the palm side).

Bartons fracture treatment

If a fractured is suspected, seek medical attention immediately. An X-ray will be required to confirm the diagnosis and the extent of the injury. In most cases, surgery is required to reduce the fracture-dislocation (move it back into place) and pin the fragments of bone together.

The wrist is then put in a plaster cast to immobilize it and allow the bones to heal. This is usually in place for around 6 weeks. In a few cases surgery is not required and the bones can be manipulated into alignment before the wrist is casted. After the cast is removed, a rehabilitation program should be followed to regain full movement and strength in the wrist.