Trends in Management of Pediatric Distal Radius Buckle Fractures

Sarah E. Lindsay, Stephanie Holmes, Ishaan Swarup, Matthew Halsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Distal radius buckle fractures (DRBFx) represent nearly half of the pediatric wrist injuries. DRBFx are stable injury patterns that can typically be successfully managed with brief immobilization. The purpose of this study was to evaluate opinions and preferences of pediatric orthopaedic specialists regarding the management of DRBFx. Methods: The POSNA Trauma Quality, Safety, and Value Initiative (QSVI) Committee developed a 20-question survey regarding the treatment of DRBFx in children. The survey was sent twice to all active and candidate POSNA members in June 2020 (n=1487). Questions focused on various aspects of treatment, including type and length of immobilization, follow-up, and radiographs and on potential concerns regarding patient/family satisfaction and pain control, medicolegal concerns, misdiagnosis, and mismanagement. Results: A total of 317 participants completed the survey (response rate=21.3%). In all, 69% of all respondents prefer to use a removable wrist splint, with 76% of those in practice <20 years preferring removable wrist splints compared with 51% of those in practice >20 years (χ2=21.7; P<0.01). Overall, 85% of participants utilize shared decision-making in discussing management options with patients and their families. The majority of participants felt that the risk of complications associated with DRBFx was very low, but concern for misdiagnosis and mismanagement have required some respondents to perform closed or open reductions. Conclusions: In 2020, the majority of respondents treat DRBFx with removable splints (69%) for 3 or fewer weeks (55%), minimal follow-up (85%), and no reimaging (64%). This marks a dramatic shift from the 2012 POSNA survey when only 29% of respondents used removable splinting for DRBFx. Level of Evidence: Level II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-371
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • bracing
  • cost
  • distal radius buckle fractures
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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