Interventions for isolated diaphyseal fractures of the ulna in adults

Added April 9, 2013

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Overall, there is insufficient evidence to determine which method of treatment (randomised trials assessed four treatment options) is the most appropriate for the treatment of isolated fractures of the ulnar shaft in adults. However, there is weak evidence (all trials were methodologically flawed and potentially biased) that in people with minimally displaced isolated fracture of the ulna, cast immobilisation of the elbow may offer no short-term advantage in respect of pain relief or fracture union, and may be associated with longer delay in return to work, when compared with the use of a cast or brace that immobilises only the forearm. This summary does not imply that practitioners should use cast immobilisation of the elbow.

Isolated fractures of the shaft of the ulna are often sustained when the forearm is raised to shield against a blow. This review assesses the effects of various forms of treatment for isolated fractures of the ulnar shaft in adults.