Conservative treated distal radius fractures with extended metaphyseal void and missing cortical support resulted in loss of reduction. From 1988 till 1994 117 fractures of the distal radius were treated by open reduction, filling the metaphyseal void with a corticocancellous iliac bone graft and plate fixation. In this retrospective study results after surgical reconstruction were evaluated radiologically and clinically and were discussed to conservative treatment. 30 patients suffering from extraarticular metaphyseal distal radius fracture were evaluated after a mean of 42 months (minimum 20, maximum 68 months) after surgery. Ulnar variance was restored in 70% to the uninvolved side. Ulnar minus variance up to 2 mm persisted in 30%. Radial joint angles were restored to normal in 53%. In 40% of the patients a loss of reduction up to 10 degrees and in 7% up to 25 degrees occured. Active range of motion in the sagittal and frontal plane was equivalent to the non involved side in 30%. 70% of the patients showed reduced range of motion up to 20%. Rotation was unlimited in 77%, reduced up to 10% in 23%. Subjective results were excellent in 90%, good in 10%. Compared to conservative therapie, surgery showed superior results.