Galeazzi's Fracture (Adults)             

- Discussion:
     - frx of radial shaft (between middle and distal 1/3's) &  dislocation of distal radioulnar joint;
           - usually the dislocation is dorsal, but in some cases can be palmar;
           - frx is almost always located just above proximal border of pronator quadratus;
           - usually there is anterior angulation w/ transverse or short oblique config;
           - ref: A Historical Report on Riccardo Galeazzi and the Management of Galeazzi Fractures
     - RU joint injury:
           - may be purely ligamentous (tearing the TFCC)
           - ligament complex may remain intact and ulnar styloid may be avulsed
           - in children there may be separation of the distal ulnar epiphysis;
           - ref: Complex volar distal radioulnar joint dislocation occurring in a Galeazzi fracture.
     - mechanism: usually direct blows and falls;
                - ref: Isolated Radial Shaft Fractures Are More Common Than Galeazzi Fractures.
     - displacing forces:
           - wt of hand tends to cause subluxation of distal RU joint & dorsal angulation of the frx radius;
           - insertion of pronator quadratus on palmar surface of distal fragment rotates it toward ulna & pulls it in prox
                    & palmar direction;
           - brachioradialis causes shortening & rotation of distal RU joint

- Treatment in Children
       - Variant of Galeazzi fracture-dislocation in children.  
       - Galeazzi-equivalent injuries of the wrist in children

- Surgical Treatment in Adults:
    - see plating techniques:
    - adults tend to have poor results with closed reduction;
    - most adults require compression plates & screws (see below);
          - w/ pure transverse frx, 4 hole 4.5 mm plate or 6 hole 3.5 mm plate is acceptable, but if there is comminution a larger
                   plate is necessary;
          - no screw should be w/ in 1 cm of frx;
          - references:
                  - Galeazzi fracture-dislocation: a new treatment-oriented classification.      
                  - Internal fixation in 50 cases of Galeazzi fracture.
                  - Results of compression-plating of closed Galeazzi fractures.

    - surgical approach:
            - Anterior Approach of Henry;
                   - 5-6 inch longitudinal incision is made, centered over frx in plane between FCR which is retracted ulnarly and BR;
                   - radial artery is identified & retracted to ulnar side;
                   - BR & superficial radial nerve are retracted radially;
                   - frx is located just above proximal border of pronator quadratus;
                   - insertion of pronator quadratus is freed from radius & reflected ulnarward;
    - RU Joint:
          - following fixation of the radius, need to reevaluate distal RU joint;
          - it is often difficult to evaluate stability of the RU joint w/o opening and directly visualizing the joint; 
          - the closer the radius fracture is to the DRUJ, the more likely it is to be unstable.
          - even if the supinated joint appears to reduce under flouro, the surgeon's fingers may palpate gross dorsal subluxation;
          - in the report by Rettig ME and Raskin KB, the authors categorized these fracture into type I (fractures within 7.5 cm of
                 midarticular surface of distal radius) and type II fractures (greater than 7.5 cm from joint surface);
                 - 22 fractures were type I, and 12 of these cases were associated with intraoperative DRUJ instability;
                 - 18 type II fractures and were type II, and only one of these frx had intraoperative DRUJ instability after ORIF;
          - surgical fixation:
                 - have the surgical assistant partially supinate the patient's arm
                 - surgeon's non dominant hand keeps joint reduced and helps to "triangulate the k wire" which is driven by surgeon's
                           dominant hand;
          - if RU joint is unstable, then K wire fixation is required (K wires are inserted from the ulnar into the radius);
          - references:
                - Galeazzi fractures: Is DRUJ instability predicted by current guidelines?
                - Distal radioulnar joint function after Galeazzi fracture-dislocations treated by open reduction and internal plate fixation.
                - Distal Radioulnar Joint Instability (Galeazzi Type Injury) After Internal Fixation in Relation to the Radius Fracture Pattern.

- Post Op
    - classic recommendations include, ORIF followed by immobilization in long arm cast with forearm in full supination for 6-8 weeks;
    - references:
           - Surgical treatment of Galeazzi fracture
           - Immobilization in supination versus neutral following surgical treatment of Galeazzi fracture-dislocations in adults: case series.

- Complications:
     - entrapment of extensor tendons:
             - ECU is usually affected but may occur in EDM
             - ulnar styloid may sustain avulsion frx & displace into distal RU joint with the extensor carpi ulnaris tendon.
             - exam reveals a vacant ECU sulcus (empty sulcus sign);
             - distal radio-ulnar joint is irreducible even after ORIF of radial frx;
             - ECU will be found either in RU joint or displaced in an ulnar direction around ulnar head;
             - Treatment:
                   - to avoid chronic instability, the distal radio-ulnar joint is reduced & ECU tendon sheath is repaired;
                   - surgical repair includes open reduction of distal RU joint, suture repair of ECU fibro-osseous canal, & ORIF of
                            ulnar styloid frx;
     - RU joint subluxation
                - Distal radioulnar joint function after Galeazzi fracture-dislocations treated by open reduction and internal plate fixation.
                - Distal Radioulnar Joint Instability (Galeazzi Type Injury) After Internal Fixation in Relation to the Radius Fracture Pattern.


    - case example:
            - 30-year-old WM who initially underwent ORIF of a Galeazzi frx w/o pin fixation of the RU joint;
                    - several weeks lateral RU joint diastasis occur which required closed pinning as a second procedure;

Galeazzi injury with an associated fracture of the radial head.

Unstable fracture-dislocations of the forearm (Monteggia and Galeazzi lesions)

Galeazzi fracture-dislocations.

Management of the Galeazzi fracture.

The Interosseous Membrane of the Forearm: Structure and Its Role in Galeazzi Fractures.

Galeazzi fractures

Treatment of Galeazzi fracture-dislocations.

The effect of a Galeazzi fracture on the strength of pronation and supination two years after surgical treatment

Original Text by Clifford R. Wheeless, III, MD.

Last updated by Data Trace Staff on Thursday, November 17, 2016 10:38 am