Fracture of both of the forearm bones Discussion

Fractures of both of the forearm bones in a adult may result in a variety of problems. In general, complications are more common and prognosis is worse for displaced fractures and for open fractures. On the average, nondisplaced fractures take six to eight weeks to heal, and displaced fractures take three to five months. Satisfactory functional end results may be expected in about eight out of ten patients with nondisplaced fractures and about one half of those with displaced fractures. Function may be most obviously affected with loss of pronation-supination or forearm palm-down palm-up rotation. As many as one half of patients will have obvious loss of forearm pronation, which may or may not be functionally significant. Loss of forearm rotation is most likely when fractures occur in the middle third of the forearm. Synostosis or bony cross-bridging may lock the forearm in a fixed position of rotation. Nonunion or failure of bone healing occurs in as many as one out of ten patients. Early protected motion appears to improve the odds of satisfactory final motion. Internal or external fixation is usually indicated for open or very unstable fractures, accepting the risk that postsurgical infection may occur in as many as one out of twenty patients.

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