What is a Hume Fracture?

What is a Hume Fracture?

A Hume fracture is a serious injury of the elbow, which can lead to complications if not addressed quickly. The elbow is a delicate joint that consists of articulation among the humerus, radius, and ulna. The radius and ulna are significantly smaller than the humerus and require far less force to fracture. In a Hume fracture, there are injuries to both the radius and the ulna where they join the elbow. As a result, these injuries might require surgical repair.

In addition to the fractures, it is also possible that someone might sustain nerve damage as a result of this fracture. There are several important nerves that run near the elbow. In severe fractures, these nerves might also be damaged. It is important for everyone to have this injury evaluated completely to ensure that nothing is missed.

The Mechanism of a Hume Fracture

The exact mechanism of a Hume fracture is unclear; however, the most commonly accepted cause is a fall. This injury is more common in younger individuals, such as adolescents, children, and young adults. This fracture occurs when someone falls and traps their arm underneath their body. If the elbow is extended when the fall occurs, this can lead to a fracture of the olecranon, which is a thick, curved portion of the ulna. If the arm is still rotating when it becomes trapped underneath the body, this can lead to an anterior dislocation of the head of the radius. This is the second component of a Hume fracture. Therefore, if someone falls and traps their arm underneath their body, the doctor will likely look for both components of this injury to confirm the diagnosis.

Possible Associated Injuries

With any fracture of the radius or ulna, it is possible that someone might damage the nerves that run through this area. These nerves include the median nerve, radial nerve, and ulnar nerve. These nerves provide motor and sensory innervation throughout the forearm. Therefore, deficiencies in motor or sensory function in the forearm might be signs of nerve damage.

Individuals with sensory damage might notice numbness or tingling in certain areas of the hand, wrist, or forearm. People might also notice weakness in their hand or fingers. It might be hard to grip a pencil, type on a computer, or use a phone. Any sign of nerve damage needs to be addressed immediately.

The Treatment of This Injury

Not every Hume fracture will require surgical repair. The doctor is going to take x-rays of the wrist to get a better look at the olecranon. If the fracture in the olecranon is not displaced, then the individual will have the radial head dislocation reduced while under anesthesia. Then, the arm is placed in a cast and allowed to heal. Surgery in this situation is not required.

On the other hand, if the olecranon fracture is displaced, surgery will be required to put this bone back together using plates and screws. The radial head dislocation will also be reduced at this time. Then, the arm is immobilized using a cast. Typically, the cast is left in place for six weeks as the injuries heal. Finally, the cast is removed. Most people who sustain this injury will make a full recovery.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. A Hume fracture is a serious wrist injury that might be accompanied by a variety of complications. Those who have developed complications of a bone fracture due to the negligence of another person or entity should contact me at (800) 404-5400 and/or (916) 921-6400 to receive free, friendly legal guidance and advice.

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Citation of Picture: The photo used at the beginning of this article was located originally on Pixabay. The image has been shown here with the permission of the Creative Commons License.

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