Self Help

Colles Fracture

Colles Fracture

Wrist and Hand Pain


A colles fracture is a break of the radius, one of the bones in the forearm near the wrist. This is often a result of falling onto an outstretched hand and is the most common type of radial fracture. This is more common in those with osteoporosis due to the decreased bone density and in younger populations is more likely to be due to high impact trauma e.g. contact sports, skiing or horse riding.


  • Pain at the wrist following trauma
  • Deformity of the wrist
  • Once fracture has healed- may have stiffness and reduced range of movement of the wrist
  • Pain at end of range movements
  • Loss of strength e.g. picking up kettle, turning keys
  • Pain when weight-bearing through the wrist


  • Activity modification
  • Ice or heat
  • Pain relief
  • Orthopaedic options include plater casting, pins or plates depending on the level of displacement
  • Physiotherapy treatment once cast removed or after 6 weeks to include range of movement and gradual strengthening programme


  • X-ray initially to confirm fracture initially and repeated in fracture clinic to monitor healing

Exercises to try

Colles Fracture

Wrist and Hand Pain
Allied Health Professionals Physiotherapist working with a patient

We know about your body

We are experts in musculoskeletal and pelvic health physiotherapy, providing specialist assessments, management and self-management to our communities, helping them to return to optimal health and stay healthy.

Learn more about us