Ulnar styloid fractures occur in association with ~60% of distal radius fractures. Most of these are small avulsion fractures involving the tip of the ulnar styloid.
Usually these kind of fractures occur as the result of a fall on an outstretched arm and are often associated with a distal radius fracture.
The fracture is easy to recognise on plain films. Sometimes the fractures may not seem very apparent on x-ray if there is no displacement.
In the paediatric and adolescent forearm it should be remembered that in very rare situations the ulnar styloid can arise from a separate ossification center, but mostly separation is caused by injury.
Treatment and prognosis
It is believed that lack of union of these avulsion fractures does not significantly affect late functional results. Fractures at the very base of the ulnar styloid can cause instability of the DRUJ and disruption of the TFCC insertion at the ulnar fovea. It is argued that these injuries therefore need open stabilisation.
- persistent ulnar styloid or other accessory ossicles of the wrist that occur around the distal ulna
- 1. Logan AJ, Lindau TR. The management of distal ulnar fractures in adults: a review of the literature and recommendations for treatment. Strategies Trauma Limb Reconstr. 2008;3 (2): 49-56. Strategies Trauma Limb Reconstr (full text) - doi:10.1007/s11751-008-0040-1 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation