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Radial Neck Fracture

The ulna and radius are long bones of the forearm. The radius has a rounded head at its upper end and forms part of the elbow joint helping the forearm rotate. The region just below the radial head is called the neck of the radius. A radial neck fracture is rare but is more common in children, usually caused by falling on an outstretched arm.

Radial neck fractures are accompanied by pain and swelling of the elbow, particularly the outer aspect, along with inability to rotate the forearm.

When you present to the clinic with the above symptoms, your doctor will examine the site of injury and assess range of motion. X-rays and a CT scan are obtained to identify the fracture, and the degree and angle of displacement.

Radial neck fractures are usually not displaced and are treated by immobilization in a splint with the elbow at 90 degrees. If the head has displaced significantly i.e.with an angulation greater than 30 degrees, it is reduced in position and secured with plates and screws.

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