My mother-in-law broke her wrist this winter when she fell on the ice. She was told she had a Colles fracture. What is this?

A Colles fracture is a break in the last inch or inch and a half of the radius bone. The radius is one of the two bones in the forearm that meets the small bones of the wrist to form the wrist joint.

Colles fractures are the most common break in adults over the age of 50. The wrist is a place where bones frequently get weak from osteoporosis. The typical Colles fracture occurs when a person slips or trips and lands on an open hand with the palm down. Other causes of this fracture include car accidents and sporting activities.