What is a Fractured Ulna?

16 August 2017

Although the bones in your forearm are extremely tough, fracturing them is fairly common, especially if you play sports. If you're experiencing pain in the area and the forearm is deformed, you might have fractured your ulna. At Wrist Supports, we've created a guide to help you understand the injury properly so you can treat it accordingly.

What is a Fractured Ulna?

Your forearm is made up of two bones: the ulna and the radius. The ulna is the name given to the bone on the little-finger side of your forearm, while the radius is the bone on the thumb-side. These two bones are in charge of rotating the forearm, so when one of the bones breaks this can affect your ability to move the area.

As the bones are fairly thick and a lot of force must be used to break either one, it's common for both bones to break when you sustain a forearm injury. However, if only one bone breaks, it's more likely to be the ulna.

Do I Have an Ulna Fracture?

Fractured bones in your forearm usually lead to sharp, immediate pain in the area, and this often causes you to cradle your arm to protect the injury. Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Visibility of one of your forearm bones
  • Obvious forearm deformity
  • Difficulty rotating your arm
  • Inability to bend or straighten your arm
  • Tender forearm skin
  • Numbness or weakness in the fingers or wrist

Causes of the Condition

Ulna fractures are most commonly caused by a weight-bearing injury to the area, like falling on your outstretched forearm, hand or elbow. This is more common when you play sports on a hard surface, such as ice skating. The fracture can also occur as a result of a direct blow to the area, or else being in a car or motorcycle accident.

Treatment Options

The majority of forearm fractures require surgery so the bones can be put back into the correct position and held there as they heal. If the bones aren't accurately aligned, this can cause problems with how your wrist and elbow move.

If you've only broken the ulna bone, you might not require surgery and might instead be treated with an immobilising aid like a cast or brace. If this is the case, you'll have to have frequent check-ups while the fracture heals so the doctor can make sure the bone is healing properly.

The Rehabilitation Process

After you've had surgery, you'll usually have to wear a wrist brace for up to six weeks after surgery. For both non-surgical and surgical treatment, performing gentle exercises can prevent stiffness and strengthen your arm. Forearm bones can take up to six months to heal before you're able to return to work or complete any activities using your hand or arm.

Ulna Fracture at Wrist Supports

Our team at Wrist Supports have put together a range of products to help speed up the healing process for your fractured ulna. The wrist braces we have for ulna fractures help stabilise the area and keep them in the correct position while the bones heal. If you feel as though you require more support and immobilisation or your fracture is closer to the elbow than the wrist, our range of arm slings stabilise the whole of your forearm to protect the area from further damage. Click the button below to view our range of wrist supports for ulna fractures.


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