Distal radial greenstick fracture

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Jones

Presentation

Fall off bike onto outstretched hand. Painful distal forearm.

Patient Data

Age: 6 years
Gender: Female

This is an incomplete fracture of the distal radius. The intact cortex is the dorsal cortex which is the concave aspect of the angulated bone. The fracture is on the convex aspect. This is therefore a greenstick fracture.

Case Discussion

The majority of distal radial fractures in children are buckle fractures, or occasionally, complete transverse fractures.

While many people may use the term greenstick as a catch-all for any incomplete fractures, greenstick fractures are actually not common in the distal radius.

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