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Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Non-dsplaced fracture neck of radius and avulsion fracture of olecranon


John (not his real name) is a 28 yrs old recreational basketball player who slipped while playing and landed on his outstretched arm (on his left palm). He got up and felt a sharp pain in his left forearm and could not straighten or bend his elbows fully. He also could not twist his wrists (supinate and pronate).

He immediately came over to see me yesterday evening and I examined him and found that he had a very tender common extensor tendon suggesting that he might have partially torn his tendon. He could not do the extensor muscle testing (resisted extension) due to the pain. There was no crepitus but I suspected a possible greenstick fracture of his left radius bone. His pain was still quite unbearable despite getting an injection for pain.

I sent him off for an X-ray of his ulna and radius along with an Orthopaedic consultation as he may need further intervention if there was a fracture. His report from the surgeon shown a non-displaced fracture of the neck of radius with minimal avulsion of his triceps insertion into the >olecranon. He was treated conservatively with Plaster of Paris cast and was due for a review in 3 weeks. This may be followed by support with a functional brace to expedite his rehabilitation process.

Links to articles of interest:-
Radial Head Fractures
The Use of Ultrasonography in the Diagnosis of Occult Fracture of the Radial Neck
Olecranon Fracture

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