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Forearm Fracture in Kids


Forearm fractures are another potential consequence of a fall on an outstretched arm. These types of breaks comprise up to half of all childhood fractures. Either of the two bones of the forearm (the radius and the ulna) can fracture. Several of the more common types are:

  • Buckle or torus fracture—fracture of the outer part of the bone on one side causes it to buckle towards the other side.
  • Greenstick fracture—like breaking a green stick, this is a fracture extending through part of the bone and causing it to bend the other way. This is similar to a buckle fracture but may involve more of the bone.
  • Galeazzi fracture—a fracture involving displacement of the radius and dislocation of the joint between the radius and the ulna
  • Monteggia fracture—a fracture involving the ulna accompanied by dislocation of the head of the radius. This fracture requires immediate attention.
  • Growth plate fracture—any fracture of the growth plate may, if not corrected, cause abnormalities in the future growth of the bone.

X-rays are an important tool in diagnosis, as these allow the physician to visualize all the bones involved. Physical examination to determine whether nerves and blood vessels have been damaged is also necessary. Treatment, whether surgical or not, is focused on realigning the displaced bones and stabilizing them so that they can heal.

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