Understanding radial head and neck fractures
Radial head and neck fractures are common injuries that affect the upper part of the radius bone in the forearm. These fractures can vary in severity and require prompt attention and appropriate care to ensure proper healing. This article will explore radial head and neck fractures, including their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and the road to recovery.
Causes of radial head fractures
Radial Head fractures typically result from trauma or injury to the forearm and elbow region. Common causes include:
Falls: Falling on an outstretched arm or directly on the elbow can lead to radial head and neck fractures.
Sports Injuries: Certain sports, such as biking or skating, can result in radial head fractures in the event of a fall.
Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents or workplace accidents that involve impact to the forearm can cause these fractures.
Symptoms of radial head fractures
The symptoms of a radial head fracture can vary based on the severity of the injury but often include:
Pain: Immediate and sharp pain in the forearm and elbow.
Swelling: Swelling and tenderness around the injured area.
Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty bending or straightening the elbow and forearm.
Weakness: Reduced grip strength and difficulty performing everyday tasks.
Bruising: Bruising may develop around the elbow and forearm.
Diagnosis of radial head fractures
Consult with an expert: An Accredited Hand Therapist is a physiotherapist or occupational therapist with expertise in the finger, hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder.
Diagnosing radial head fractures involves several steps:
Medical history: An Accredited Hand Therapist will ask about the circumstances of the injury and any symptoms you are experiencing.
Physical examination: A thorough physical examination of the elbow, forearm, and hand to assess pain, swelling, and range of motion.
Imaging: X-rays are commonly used to confirm the presence of a radial head or neck fracture. In some cases, additional imaging like CT scans or MRI may be needed for a more detailed view.