Fracture through the distal radial metaphysis no further than 4 centimeters proximal to the distal articular surface that has dorsal displacement and angulation of the fracture fragments. Fracture of the ulnar styloid occurs in 60%.
Most commonly caused by people falling forward onto a hard surface and breaking their fall with extended, outstretched hands - falling with wrists flexed would lead to a Smith's fracture.
Named after Abraham Colles (1773-1843), an Irish surgeon who first described this in 1814 before the advent of X-rays.
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