Fracture of the Radius and Ulna
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Injury Lawyer. When people are learning about fractures, they often learn about fractures impacting only one bone; however, sometimes, people can suffer multiple fractures at once.
What is a Fracture of the Radius and Ulna?
The forearm is made up of two different bones called the radius and the ulna. While these bones are some of the most commonly broken bones in the medical community, it is possible for someone to suffer a fracture in both bones at once. Suffering multiple injuries at once is often called polytrauma.
An Overview of the Mechanism
While many people suffer an injury to the radius or ulna after falling on an outstretched hand, it takes a special degree of force to break both bones. It is possible to break both bones while falling in a twisting or turning motion on top of the arm, it is more common for people to break both bones as a function of injuries caused by car accidents.
The treatment is going to depend on the severity of the fracture. Most patients will require pain medication as the physician reviews scans to grade the severity of the injury. If the fractures are not displaced, as is commonly the case in children, a closed reduction can be performed. On the other hand, open fractures will require more involved treatment.
Complications of a Dual Fracture
There are several complications that can arise from this fracture. For example, it is possible that the bones don’t heal properly, leading to malunion. This can impact someone’s ability to regain full use of their arm. Patients may also suffer varying degrees of nerve damage if one of the bone fragments damages any of the nerves that run through the arm.
Other Structures are at Risk
Without a doubt, the two structures that are most at risk with this injury are the radial nerve and the ulnar nerve. These nerves provide a significant amount of the sensory and motor function for the arm. Along with these two nerves, the median nerve is also at risk. The median nerve is damaged in carpal tunnel syndrome as well.
There are other bone fractures on the differential diagnosis including:
- Colles’ Fracture
- Galeazzi Fracture
- Monteggia Fracture
- Scaphoid Frature
- Elbow Dislocation
- Boxer’s Fracture
Prognosis of a Dual Fracture of the Radius and the Ulna
Fractures of the radius and ulna individually are exceedingly common. When suffered together, the prognosis is still very good for most people. The vast majority of patients will regain full use of their arm after a few weeks in a cast.
Surgery is a Possibility
The surgical indications for fractures of the radius and ulna are similar to those of other fractures. If other structures are damaged or if the fractures are displaced, surgery will be required to facilitate proper healing.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Injury Lawyer. Patients with multiple bone fractures caused by the negligence of someone else can call me at for free, friendly advice. I maintain a toll-free line also at (800) 404-5400.
I am a proud member of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. This group of attorneys represents some of the top-rated trial lawyers in the United States. All of us have won million or multiple million-dollar settlements in prior verdicts.
See some of my verdicts and settlements here.