Torus (buckle) fractures of the distal radius are common in childhood. Based on the results of a postal questionnaire and a prospective, randomised trial, we describe a simple treatment for this injury, which saves both time and money. Over a six-month period, we randomised 201 consecutive patients with this injury to treatment with either a traditional forearm plaster-of-Paris cast or a 'Futura-type' wrist splint. All patients were treated for a period of three weeks, followed by clinical and radiological review. There was no difference in outcome between the two groups, and all patients had a good result. Only one patient did not tolerate the splint which was replaced by a cast. The questionnaire showed a marked variation in the way in which these injuries are treated with regard to the method and period of immobilisation, the number of follow-up visits and radiographs taken. We suggest that a 'Futura-type' wrist splint can be used to treat these fractures. The patient should be reviewed on the following day to confirm the diagnosis and to give appropriate advice. There is no evidence that further follow-up is required. This simple treatment has major benefits in terms of cost and reduction of the number of attendances.
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