Forearm Fracture

(Broken Arm; Radial Fracture; Ulnar Fracture)

Definition

A forearm fracture is a break in one or both bones of the forearm.The forearm consists of two bones:
  • Radius—the smaller of the two bones, runs along the thumb side of your arm
  • Ulna—the larger of the two bones, runs along the little finger side of your arm
Forearm Fracture with Swelling
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Causes

A forearm fracture is caused by trauma to the bone. Trauma may include:
  • Fall on an outstretched arm
  • Fall directly on the forearm
  • Direct blow to the forearm
  • Twisting the arm beyond the elbow's normal range of motion

Risk Factors

Forearm fracture is more common in older adults. Factors that may increase your risk of forearm fracture include:
  • Osteoporosis
  • Certain diseases or conditions that result in bone or mineral loss, such as abnormal or absent menstrual cycles, or post- menopause
  • Certain diseases and conditions that weaken bones, such as tumors or cysts
  • Poor nutrition
  • Certain congenital bone conditions
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Participating in contact sports
  • Violence

Symptoms

A forearm fracture may cause:
  • Pain, often severe
  • Tenderness, swelling, and bruising around the injury
  • Decreased range of motion
  • A lump or visible deformity over the fracture site

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms, your physical activity, and how the injury occurred. The injured area will be examined.Imaging tests assess the bones, surrounding structures, and soft tissues. This can be done with:

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