There are many ways to treat fractures of the radius, the forearm bone that meets with the thumb-side of the wrist. External fixation is one of them.
Researchers from Japan recently reported that external fixation that allows movement may not give enough stability for bones to heal together properly. These researchers have started to use a combination of internal and external treatments. They fix the bones in place from the outside with pins. They also implant a bone substitute called "hydroxyapatite" to help the broken bones join together.
This combination of treatments had good results for 25 patients in a range of ages. Two and a half years after surgery, all but one of the wrists treated were classified as "excellent."
Bone implants may not be necessary in all cases. The key is to find the treatment that gives enough stability for bones to bond solidly together.