Galeazzi fracture-dislocation

Case contributed by Leonardo Lustosa


Motorcycle accident. Forearm deformity upon physical examination.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Male

Forearm radiographs revealed a midshaft radial fracture associated with a dislocation of the distal radioulnar joint, in keeping with a Galeazzi fracture-dislocation.

Case Discussion

Galeazzi fracture-dislocations are described as distal half radial fractures associated with a disruption of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ).

Unlike isolated radial fractures, a Galeazzi fracture in an adult demands operative management.

In the present case, the DRUJ is clearly dislocated, but sometimes the injury may be more subtle. Some radiographic findings suggestive of a DRUJ injury are:

  • ulnar styloid base fracture
  • widening of the DRUJ
  • dislocation/subluxation of the radius relative to the ulna on the lateral view
  • shortening of the radius >5 mm

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