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    Fractures of the radius and ulna are the most common fractures of the upper extremity, with distal fractures occurring more often than proximal fractures. A fall onto an outstretched hand is the most common mechanism of injury for fractures of the radius and ulna. Evaluation with radiography or ultrasonography usually can confirm the diagnosis. If initial imaging findings are negative and suspicion of fracture remains, splinting and repeat radiography in seven to 14 days should be performed. Incomplete compression fractures without cortical disruption, called buckle (torus) fractures, are common in children. Greenstick fractures, which have cortical disruption, are also common in children. Depending on the degree of angulation, buckle and greenstick fractures can be managed with immobilization. In adults, distal radius fractures are the most common forearm fractures and are typically caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand. A nondisplaced, or minimally displaced, distal radius fracture is initially treated with a sugar-tong splint, followed by a short-arm cast for a minimum of three weeks. It should be noted that these fractures may be complicated by a median nerve injury. Isolated midshaft ulna (nightstick) fractures are often caused by a direct blow to the forearm. These fractures are treated with immobilization or surgery, depending on the degree of displacement and angulation. Combined fractures involving both the ulna and radius generally require surgical correction. Radial head fractures may be difficult to visualize on initial imaging but should be suspected when there are limitations of elbow extension and supination following trauma. Treatment of radial head fractures depends on the specific characteristics of the fracture using the Mason classification.


    Deepak S Patel, Siobhan M Statuta, Natasha Ahmed. Common Fractures of the Radius and Ulna. American family physician. 2021 Mar 15;103(6):345-354

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    PMID: 33719378

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