What do you know about forearm fractures?

What do you know about a radius fracture of the forearm?

What do you know about radius bone fractures?

What causes radius bone fractures?

What are the symptoms of radius bone fractures in the forearm?

What are the symptoms of a radius fracture? What is the mechanism of radius fractures?

What are the treatments for radius bone fractures and how are they diagnosed?

If you want to find the answers to the above questions, we recommend that you read this article.


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In the structure of our forearm, two bones are involved. The radius bone and the ulna bone, the radius bone has a special shape in its upper part, which is called the head of the radius bone, ie the head part of the radius bone is like a cylinder that is low in height, or in other words it can be said that the head of the radius bone is like a disc. The upper surface of this disc is sunken. This feature is due to the fact that the outer condyle of the arm or the outer protrusion of the end of your humerus is well articulated.

When we move from this area to the hand, immediately below this area of ​​low cylinders (radius head), is called the radial neck. Now we want to talk to you about the problems of radius fracture in this article.


Types of forearm fractures

Forearm fractures can be of the following types:

It may be a single radial bone fracture or it may be a single fracture of the ulna. Both bones may be fractured together.

In the following, we will talk about radial bone fractures. The radius bone attaches to the upper end of the radius bone in the elbow area (it looks like a low cylinder. The upper surface of the cylinder is sunken and is a good place for the prominent part of the external condyle of the elbow, which is actually the prominent part of the lower end of the humerus, to be placed and articulated). We want to talk about forearm fractures in the above region.


What is the mechanism of Radial Head Fractures?

How do Radial Head Fractures occur?

In terms of age distribution, we must say that young people are a group that has more radial head fractures than other age groups.

Radial head fractures are said to be usually caused by the following mechanism:

Usually, a person with a radial head fracture falls to the ground. This fall occurs when the person puts his hand between the body and the ground.

When the palm of the hand hits the ground, a lot of pressure is transmitted from the forearm to the upwards, so the head of the radius bone hits the outer condyle of the humerus very firmly. This process will break the head of the radius bone in your elbow area, The radial head fracture may be very brief, with only a vertical gap in the head of the radius bone but sometimes the accident may be more severe and the transmitted pressure may have been greater and a piece of radius bone is cut and moved just like a piece or a slice of a cake, and in very severe blows, the head of the radius bone of the elbow area may be completely crushed and broken into several pieces. We must say that in severe fractures, the articular muscles of the radius head will also be seriously damaged.


What are the signs and symptoms of a Radial Head Fractures?

In this section, we want to say that when the head of a radius bone is fractured, what are the clinical manifestations of the affected person, or in other words, what are the symptoms and manifestations of radial head fractures of the elbow bone?

It is said that a person who suffers from a radial head fracture usually complains of pain in the outer part of the elbow joint. The second sign is that the elbow movements, especially the rotational movements of the elbow, become painful. The third case is that if pressure is applied to the affected area with the finger, it feels pain and discomfort.

Swelling in the elbow area is not usually present; a person with a radial head fracture may have limited forearm rotation.

This limitation is usually such that the person feels stocked  when the forearm rotates and is unable to rotate the forearm smoothly and evenly.


How are Radial Head Fractures diagnosed?

When a person with a radius bone fracture sees a doctor for examination, the doctor suspects a radius bone fracture due to the symptoms he or she is experiencing, especially if the mechanism of injury is similar to that described above.

The final diagnosis of radius bone head fractures is made using a simple x-ray of the elbow, but in order for the doctor to be able to see the fracture line better, he needs to request special and specialized views.


How is Radial Head Fractures treated?

In order to better understand the treatment of Radial Head Fractures, we have divided these fractures into several categories and described the specific treatment for each category in front of it.

  1. The first case is when the radial head fracture in the elbow has occurred without displacement, meaning that this fractured part has not been removed and has not been displaced. In these cases, the treatment is splinting of the upper limb. Usually, a long splint is used in the upper limb or the relevant upper limb is hung from the neck for 2 to 3 weeks. Both methods are for the elbow to be immobile so that it can heal in the fractured area without displacement, After this period, the affected person must receive certain exercises and by doing them, prevent permanent movement restriction in his or her elbow.


  1. The second case, if radial head fracture has occurred in the elbow, which has caused one or two pieces of the bone to separate, if the pieces are large and can be fixed, in this case, surgery is necessary. reduction should be done openly. After reduction, the broken parts should be fixed. Fixing these parts is done with low-strength and delicate screws and plates.


  1. The third case is when the fracture occurs in the area of ​​the head of the radius bone and the number of broken pieces is so large that they cannot be fixed. In these cases, surgery must be performed and during surgery, the entire head of the radius is removed.


  1. In fourth case, we want to deal with radial head fractures in children and its treatment, fractures in children are usually fractures of the neck of the radius bone, and the fracture line passes under the radius head and does not enter the radius head itself.

Radial neck fractures that occur in children cause the radius to tilt. It is said that the amount of this deviation (the amount at which the head of the radius bone tilts in the elbow area) is very important.

If the deviation is 10 degrees, there is no need for an implant and the patient receives only one long splint for three weeks to immobilize the relevant upper limb.

If the deviation is more than 10 degrees, reduction is necessary. Reduction of the fracture is done in a closed way (closed reduction) and then a splint will be used to immobilize it.

And if closed reduction of the fracture is not successful, the patient must have surgery and undergo open reduction surgery. One of the therapeutic differences in upper radius fractures between children and adults is that in children, unlike adults, the head of the radius bone never comes out. because if it does, it will cause the entire radius bone to moves upwards and towards the arm, thus causing problems in forearm function and forearm movements.


Are treatments for Radial Head Fractures successful?

If you see a doctor when you have a radial head fracture in the elbow area and the treatment is done correctly and on time, you will recover with the least complications and will regain your elbow and forearm function.



In this section, we want to see if radial head fractures in the elbow area have any complications or not.

In the following, we will name some of the most important side effects and explain about each of them.

First complication:

Radial head fractures of the elbow can be associated with dryness of the elbow joint.

One of the major complications of people with radial head fractures is that they have limited mobility of the elbow.

If a person with a radial head fracture of the elbow is treated, it is important to rehabilitate the fracture after treatment, regardless of the type of treatment.

That is, soft movements after immobilization should be performed completely actively by the patient and not just by the physiotherapist. This means that the person with a radius fracture of the head should try to move the injured area with the strength of the muscles in the area, and excessive pressure on the elbow joint by a physiotherapist may also increase the limitation of the elbow movement.

Radial head fractures at the elbow and its association with osteoarthritis or wear and tear of the elbow joint:

It is said that a person with a Radial head fracture will have an inconsistency on the joint surface if the fractured parts are not fixed well together. The joint surface becomes inconsistent and therefore these inconsistencies and uneven and unbalanced distribution of force on the joint surfaces (due to the created inconsistencies), cause joint wear in the long run.

And when joint wear occurs, In the early stages, the head of the radius bone can be removed and the problem resolved, but when the disorder becomes more advanced, even with the complete removal of the involved radius head, the patient’s problems may not be completely resolved.