Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures

Causes  |  Symptoms  |  Treatment Options  |  Patient Care

What Are Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures?

Radius and ulna fractures, also known as forearm fractures, are commonly seen fractures of the forearm. As with other fractures, they are caused by either direct or indirect trauma to the area.

What Are The Symptoms Of Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures?

You can typically identify radius and ulna fractures by the immediate pain of the bones fracturing, felt upon impact of the collision or trauma. In the case of radius and ulna fractures, the affected arm will appear to look deformed as both bones are often affected at the same time. 

Other symptoms include the inability to move the affected arm – it is likely that you will need to support the injured arm. 

What Are The Treatment Options Available For Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures?

Treatment will be recommended based on the information provided from an X-ray and the activity demands of the patient. After a proper diagnosis is made, the fracture site will be splinted to limit further movement and injury. 

Following this, it may be recommended that the injured site be placed in a cast or brace to immobilise the bone while it heals. Other times, it may be necessary to have metal plates or screws put in or other forms of external fixation to ensure that the fracture is aligned and the bones can heal in their proper position. 

This immobilisation process in an ‘as near-normal position’ as possible is key to the healing process and will be the primary determinant of how well the fracture will heal.

How Can Patients Care For Their Injuries After Treatment For Radius & Ulna (Forearm) Fractures?

Fractures take a very long time to heal and can range from several weeks to several months.

It depends on the severity of the fracture. It is essential that the patient does not apply extra weight to the injured area during this time and that the cast is kept dry.

Maintaining a healthy diet and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption can help the healing process and prevent complications like delayed healing.