Medicine:Barton's fracture

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Barton's fracture
3D-rendered CT of Barton's fracture.jpg
A palmar Barton's fracture of the right wrist, as shown on a 3D-rendered CT scan

A Barton's fracture is a type of wrist injury where there is a broken bone associated with a dislocated bone in the wrist, typically occurring after falling on top of a bent wrist.[1] It is an intra-articular fracture of the distal radius with dislocation of the radiocarpal joint.[2]

There exist two types of Barton's fracture – dorsal[3] and palmar, the latter being more common. The Barton's fracture is caused by a fall on an extended and pronated wrist increasing carpal compression force on the dorsal rim. Intra-articular component distinguishes this fracture from a Smith's or a Colles' fracture. Treatment of this fracture is usually done by open reduction and internal fixation with a plate and screws, but occasionally the fracture can be treated conservatively.


It is named after John Rhea Barton (1794–1871), an American surgeon who first described this in 1838.[4][5]

Additional images

Lateral projectional radiograph of the same fracture.


  1. "Barton Fracture: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment". 27 December 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2022. 
  2. Martel, José; Bueno, Angel (2008). "Fractures with names". in Pope, Thomas; Bloem, Hans L.; Beltran, Javier et al. (in en). Musculoskeletal Imaging (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier. p. 1232.e2. ISBN 978-1-4557-0813-0. 
  3. Dorsal Barton's Fracture / Dorsal Shearing Frx – Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics
  4. synd/2821 at Who Named It?
  5. J. R. Barton. Views and treatment of an important injury of the wrist. Medical Examiner, Philadelphia, 1838, 1: 365–368.

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