Forearm Fractures in Children

The forearm is comprised of two long bones: the radius and ulna.  One or more of these bones can be fractured quite commonly in children after a fall.  Usually when we refer to forearm fractures, we mean that there is a fracture in center of the bone(s), near the middle part of the forearm.

Many times these fractures can be repositioned with sedation or anesthetic and a cast is applied.  The fractures are then monitored regularly with xray to ensure an acceptable position is maintained thoughout healing. Sometimes, small amounts of correction is required by modifying/wedging the cast.  

In other cases where the fracture is clearly very unstable, we often use a form of internal stabilization with a type of rod that gets passed down the hollow inside of the bone(s).  We tend to remove this metal hardware after the fracture is healed.   

Note that there are other variants of forearm injuries that occur in children. Monteggia injuries typically involve a fracture of the ulna bone but have a dislocation of the upper part of the radius at the elbow.  See Monteggia Injuries for more information.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons - Forearm Fractures in Children