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Fractures of the Radius and Ulna Menu

Types of Radius/Ulna Fractures:

Both Bone Fractures:

Pediatric Forearm Fractures:

Proximal Radial Fractures:

Distal Radius Fractures: (Synthes Distal Radius Products)

Radial Shaft Fractures:


Radius Anatomy:

  • radius is a curved bone with an apex lateral bow with an apex lateral bow;
  • cylindral in the proximal third, triangular in the middle third, and flat distally ;
  • radius & ulna lie parallel to each other when forearm is supinated;
  • during pronation radius crosses ulna, rotating on axis that passes from capitulum through the distal end of ulna;
  • proximal radioulnar joint is most stable in supination where the broadest part of the radial head contacts the radial notch of the ulna and the interosseous membrane is taut
  • interosseous membrane:
    • radius and ulna are joined by proximal & distal RU joints & by interosseous membrane, which is directed obliquely downward from radius to ulna;
    • since ulna does not articulate w/ carpi, direction of interosseous membrane is important in transmission of longitudinal forces from radius to ulna;

Ulna Anatomy:

  • ulna has a triangular shape throughout, with an apex posterior bow in the proximal third
  • ular side of wrist is supported by TFCC, which articulates w/ both lunate and triquetrium;
  • ulnar attachment of TFC is to base of ulnar styloid & distally to triquetrum w/ volar ulnocarpal ligaments;

Functional Anatomy:

  • average range of pronation/supination is 90/90 degrees (50/50 degrees necessary for activities of daily living)
  • middle third deformity has a greater effect on supination, with the distal third affecting pronation to a greater degree

Ezekiel 30:21 (King James Version)

Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.