Galeazzi Fractures

Galeazzi Fractures

Maharsh K. Patel

Joseph J. King


  • Pathoanatomy

    • Galeazzi fractures are defined as a fracture of the distal one-third radial shaft and associated distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ) injury.

      • Variants—fractures anywhere along the radius or fractures of both the radius and ulna with DRUJ disruption

    • DRUJ is the distal articulation of the ulna within the sigmoid notch on the ulnar border of the distal radius.

      • Primarily stabilized by triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC)

        • Also has volar and dorsal distal radioulnar ligaments

      • DRUJ is most stable in supination.

    • Incidence of DRUJ instability

      • Unstable in 55% when radius fracture is <7.5 cm from articular surface

      • Unstable in 6% when radius fracture is >7.5 cm from articular surface

    • Major deforming forces

      • Pronator quadratus—insertion pronates the distal radius with proximal and volar displacement

      • Brachioradialis—causes shortening

      • Thumb extensors and abductors—result in shortening and relaxation of the radial collateral ligament

  • Mechanism of injury

    • Indirect trauma such as a fall onto an outstretched hand with the forearm in pronation (Figure 30.1)

      • Forceful axial loading with torsion of forearm

    • Direct trauma to the forearm and/or wrist

      • Motor vehicle accidents, blunt trauma, etc.

  • Epidemiology

    • Incidence

      • ≤3% of all forearm fractures in children

      • ≤7% of all forearm fractures in adults

FIGURE 30.1 Mechanism of injury. A, a type I fracture (apex volar) that occurs with axial loading with the forearm in supination. B, a type II fracture (apex dorsal) that occurs with axial loading with the forearm in pronation. From atesok KI, Jupiter JB, Weiss APC. Galeazzi fracture. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2011;19(10):623-633.


May 7, 2019 | Posted by in ORTHOPEDIC | Comments Off on Galeazzi Fractures
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