These are complete articular fractures of the distal radius, with no part of the articular surface in continuity with the diaphysis. As these are intraarticular fractures they require anatomic reduction, except in very low demand patients.
Any patient who has had a fall on the outstretched hand may have sustained an intercarpal ligament injury; these may easily be missed on initial clinical assessment.
Note: CT scans may be helpful for treatment decisions.
In fractures with significant extension into the diaphysis, open treatment with a long T-plate (bridging plate) is preferred in order to obtain more secure fixation of the diaphyseal fracture component.