In an increasingly cost conscious management of health care, estimating the cost of treatment of distal radial fractures has significant relevance. We studied 100 distal radial fractures, prospectively, from their presentation to eventual discharge. On an average, pound320.50 were spent on each patient during 1997. Ninety percent of the costs were seen to be service costs and only 10% were those of consumables. A proportion of costs incurred due to remanipulations could have been saved by supervised primary treatment. Also, lack of protocols resulted in increased use of clinic time, physiotherapy sessions and radiographs. In-patient treatment was seen to account for the bulk of the expenditure. We have identified certain guidelines to improve the primary treatment of these fractures and the possibility of treating them in designated sessions in the day surgery unit. This is likely to reduce the overall cost of treatment of these very commonly sustained fractures though this will need to be proved in a future validated study.