May also be called: Broken Wrist; Colles' Fracture
Fractures of the distal radius and ulna, or broken bones of the forearm, are common injuries, usually from a forward fall.
The radius and the ulna are the bones of the forearm found between the elbow and wrist. The radius is the bone on the thumb side and the ulna is the bone on the little finger side. People may break both of these bones when they trip and hold an arm out to stop the fall. The distal (closest to the hand) part of the bones are most likely to be injured.
Doctors use casts or splints to keep bones from moving and to support injured limbs while they heal. Casts wrap around the broken area and can be made out of plaster, fiberglass, or even plastic and air (called an air cast). A splint is like a cast, but does not go all the way around the arm.
Broken bones heal at different rates, depending on the age of the person and the type of fracture.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) The AAOS provides information for the public on sports safety, and bone, joint, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries or conditions.|
|American College of Sports Medicine This site has tips on staying safe while playing sports and exercising.|
|First Aid: Broken Bones A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Here's what to do if you think your child just broke a bone.|
|Babysitting: Dealing With Broken Bones What should you do if a child you're babysitting has a broken bone? Our tip sheet can help you be prepared.|
|Broken Bones Although many kids will have one at some point, a broken bone can be scary for them and parents alike. Here's the lowdown on what to expect.|
|The Facts About Broken Bones What happens when you break a bone?|
|When Your Child Needs a Cast Casts keep bones and other tissues in place while they heal. Here's what to expect, and how to care for casts.|
|Dealing With Broken Bones A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Find out what to do in this printable instruction sheet.|
|X-Ray Exam: Forearm A forearm X-ray can help find the causes of pain, tenderness, swelling, or deformity. It can detect broken bones, and after a broken bone has been set, help determine whether it has healed properly.|
|Broken Bones, Sprains, and Strains Broken bones and torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons happen. Find out what to do if your child experiences any breaks, strains, or sprains.|
|Broken Bones Bones are tough stuff - but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.