J Am Acad Orthop Surg October 2011 Kivanc I. Atesok, MD, Jesse B. Jupiter, MD and Arnold-Peter C. Weiss, MD Abstract
Galeazzi fracture is a fracture of the radial diaphysis with disruption at the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ). Typically, the mechanism of injury is forceful axial loading and torsion of the forearm. Diagnosis is established on radiographic evaluation. Underdiagnosis is common because disruption of the ligamentous restraints of the DRUJ may be overlooked. Nonsurgical management with anatomic reduction and immobilization in a long-arm cast has been successful in children. In adults, nonsurgical treatment typically fails because of deforming forces acting on the distal radius and DRUJ. Open reduction and internal fixation is the preferred surgical option. Anatomic reduction and rigid fixation should be followed by intraoperative assessment of the DRUJ. Further intraoperative interventions are based on the reducibility and postreduction stability of the DRUJ. Misdiagnosis or inadequate management of Galeazzi fracture may result in disabling complications, such as DRUJ instability, malunion, limited forearm range of motion, chronic wrist pain, and osteoarthritis.