Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Monteggia Fracture Overview

What is a Monteggia fracture?
A person with a Monteggia fracture has broken the ulna, as well as dislocated the radius and ulna at the wrist joint. Monteggia fractures account for about 5 percent of forearm fractures in adults. The injury is usually caused by a fall onto the outstretched hand.

What are the symptoms of a Monteggia fracture?
Symptoms of a Monteggia fracture include arm pain that worsens with movement of the elbow or wrist. Additional symptoms of a Monteggia fracture include forearm swelling, deformity, hand swelling, wrist swelling, forearm tenderness, and hand numbness.

How does the doctor treat a Monteggia fracture?
The treatment for a Monteggia fracture depends on the severity of the injury. Treatment for forearm fractures may include rest, elevation, cold compresses, splinting, cast, shoulder sling, and narcotic pain medications. In adults, Monteggia fractures require surgery, in order to repair the broken radius and realign the dislocated wrist. Children rarely require surgery.

Continue to Monteggia Fracture Symptoms

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Monteggia Fracture References
  1. Eathiraju S, Mudgal CS, Jupiter JB. Monteggia fracture-dislocations. Hand Clin. 2007 May;23(2):165-77, v. [17548008]
  2. Kloen P, Rubel IF, Farley TD, Weiland AJ, Helfet DL. Bilateral Monteggia fractures. Am J Orthop. 2003 Feb;32(2):98-100. [12602639]
  3. Perron AD, Hersh RE, Brady WJ, Keats TE. Orthopedic pitfalls in the ED: Galeazzi and Monteggia fracture-dislocation. Am J Emerg Med. 2001 May;19(3):225-8. [11326352]
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