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Fracture (radial head)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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This type of fracture may result from a fall on the outstretched hand that forces the elbow into valgus. This will force the head of the radius against the capitulum.

The outcome of the fall is age dependent. In adults the injury is likely to be the splitting and breaking of of the radial head. In children it is more likely for the neck of the radius to fracture. There is also likely to be bruising or chipping of the articular cartilage of the capitulum.

This injury will cause painful rotation of the forearm and tenderness on the lateral side of the elbow. There is almost always a loss of full elbow extension.

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