The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of fractures of the distal radius in the Swedish population and to review the methods used to treat them between 2005 and 2010.
The study population consisted of every patient in Sweden who was diagnosed with a fracture of the wrist between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2010. There were 177 893 fractures of the distal radius. The incidence rate in the total population was 32 per 10 000 person-years. The mean age of the patients was 44 years (0 to 104). The proportion of fractures treated operatively increased from 16% in 2005 to 20% in 2010. The incidence rate for plate fixation in the adult population increased 3.61 fold. The incidence rate for external fixation decreased by 67%. The change was greatest in the 50 years to 74 years age group.
In Sweden, there is an increasing tendency to operate on fractures of the distal radius. The previously reported increase in the use of plating is confirmed: it has increased more than threefold over a five-year period.