A distal radius fracture can be a serious injury. Displaced fractures that affect joint alignment can lead to permanent disability due to arthritis and loss of mobility and function in the wrist joint. Wrist fractures typically require treatment. Not all of them, however, require surgical treatment. A fracture that’s a simple fracture and that’s minimally displaced and within acceptable alignment can be treated with splinting or a cast for four to six weeks or return to activity shortly thereafter and often will heal without any lasting disability. However, fractures of the distal radius that are more significant, that are displaced, that lead to joint malalignment or partial dislocation, that shorten or angulate, or that are highly fragmented, all of these require surgical treatment in order to provide correction of the abnormality and to minimize the likelihood of developing lifelong complications as a result of that fracture.