Galeazzi fracture-dislocation

Case contributed by Dr Matt Skalski


Pain and deformity after a fall.

Patient Data

Age: 32
Gender: Male

There is a comminuted fracture of the middle third of the radius, demonstrating approximately 20 degrees of  posterior angulation with a butterfly fragment posteriorly at the fracture site. The ulnar head is dislocated anteriorly, with widening of the distal radio-ulnar joint. The scapholunate joint space is borderline widened. 

Annotated image

The pathological changes seen in this fracture-dislocation injury pattern are outlined. See the descriptions below for individual views. 

Case Discussion

It is critical to identify the dislocated ulnar head in this case, as it changes it from a simple radius fracture to a Galeazzi injury pattern, which greatly changes the patient management and outcomes as this is an unstable injury and the extent of injury to other structures is much greater. Anterior dislocation of the ulna (as in this case) is less common than posterior dislocation. 

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Case information

rID: 36770
Published: 9th May 2015
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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