(Broken Arm; Radial Fracture; Ulnar Fracture)
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A forearm fracture is a break in one or both bones of the forearm.
This injury is caused by trauma from:
Things that may raise the risk of this injury are:
A forearm fracture may cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked how the injury happened. An exam will be done that focuses on your arm.
Images may be taken of the arm. This can be done with:
How it is treated depends on whether the injury is mild or severe. Options may be:
Initial care may be:
Children's bones have growth plates that let bones grow and harden with age. A child with this type of fracture will need to be checked over time to make sure the bone heals the right way and keeps growing.
Putting Bones Back in Place
Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:
Most fractures are due to accidents. Healthy bones and muscles may prevent injury. This may be done through diet and exercise.
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Association
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Adult forearm fractures. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated July 2011. Accessed September 25, 2019.
Distal radius fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Accessed September 25, 2019.
Niver GE, Ilyas AM. Carpal tunnel syndrome after distal radius fracture. Orthop Clin North Am. 2012 Oct;43(4):521-527.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 8/25/2020
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