We describe a new technique for open reduction, bone grafting and fixation with a single Kirschner wire of unstable fractures of the distal radius. Of the 83 patients treated by this technique, most had regained volar tilt when seen at an average of 13 months after injury. Malunion was seen in 18 patients due either to poor placement of the graft and Kirschner wire or because of both volar and dorsal comminution. Assessment of hand and wrist function showed an average recovery of 63% of mass grip strength with an excellent return of specialised grip strength and range of movement. The advantages of this technique over closed methods include the ability to regain the volar tilt of the distal radius and to achieve reduction at any time before union of the fracture.