Anatomy of the Radius
The radius is one of the two bones in your forearm that allows four different movements; flexion, extension, supination and pronation. It has a unique round articular surface, which meets with the humerus (of the upper arm) and ulna of the forearm at the elbow. This unique surface is what turns to enable your elbow to be able to do all these four movements. Here at the elbow, also attaches many tendons of the muscles of the arm and forearm.
10 weeks ago, I sustained a fracture to my neck of radius. After a trip to Emergency, I was put into a sling and sent home with strict Doctor’s orders to keep my arm immobilised for one week until follow up x-ray at the Hospital’s Fracture Clinic. One Week later, follow up x-ray revealed a clean, non-displaced fracture. As such, it was decided that my arm would not require casting (only immobilisation in a sling for another 2 weeks).
Physiotherapy treatment and prognosis for Radial Neck Fracture:
- Immobilisation in a sling for 1 -3 weeks
- 8 – 10 weeks non-weight bearing to allow adequate time for bone union
- Physiotherapy treatment involving:
o Early Range of Motion exercises 7 days to prevent stiffness
o A progressive strengthening home exercise program
o Physiotherapy manual therapy involving elbow and wrist joint mobilisation, soft tissue therapy and dry needling for muscles of the arm and forearm
After 10 weeks of a combination of relative rest and physiotherapy treatments, my fractured elbow has fully recovered pain free, with no loss in range of motion or strength!
If you have sustained a similar injury or have received a doctor’s referral for Physiotherapy, let us help you and call us at your nearest clinic today.
Written by Eleni Tsagaris
Physiotherapist Mona Vale and Potts Point