Overview of Radial Head Fracture

A radial head fracture is the usually broken elbow bone seen in the youngster. Radial head fractures are common accidents, taking place in around 20 percent of all acute elbow accidents. They are more frequent in ladies than in men’s and happened usually between 30 and 40 years of age.

Around 10 percent of all elbow dislocations contains a fracture of the radial head. Because the upper arm bone (humerus) and the ulna return to their regular alignment, a piece of the radial head bone could be chipped off (fractured). Radial head Fractures affect pain and swelling in the elbow. Radial head fractures occur most generally in contact and collision sports activities while a player falls onto an outstretched hand or arm. Blunt or penetrating trauma rarely causes a radial head fracture.


  1. Tenderness over the radial head
  2. Local swelling
  3. Pain on forearm rotation or elbow flexion

The presence of bleeding, despite small puncture wounds, should alert the examiner to the possibility of open injury. Neurovascular signs and symptoms of numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation need to be diagnosed to rule out nerve or vascular injury. The presence of extreme pain should alert the examiner to the possibility of compartment syndrome.

Primary treatment includes sending for expert medical assistance, securing the arm to the body in a relaxed position and gentle use of ice on the injury for 20 min. Similarly, treatment requires the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon because a fracture in which the bone is displaced might also require fixation.

A bone fractured without a displacement might also require splinting the arm at a 90° angle for a few weeks. Radial head fracture treatment of radial head fractures depends on reports of the fracture on x-ray. Radial head fractures that aren’t badly displaced can be controlled by using splinting the elbow for a short period.

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