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Ulna, fracture of

A fracture of the ulna, one of the two bones of the forearm. Ulnar fractures usually occur across the shaft or at the olecranon process (the rounded projection at the tip of the elbow).

A fracture to the shaft often results from a blow to the forearm or a fall onto the hand. Occasionally the radius (the other bone in the forearm) is fractured at the same time. Surgery is often needed to reposition the broken bone ends and fix them together using either a plate and screws or a long nail down the centre of the bone. The arm is immobilised in a cast, with the elbow at a right angle, until the fracture heals.

A fracture of the olecranon process is often the result of a fall onto the elbow. If the bone ends have not been immobilised in a cast that holds the elbow at a right angle. If the bone ends are displaced, however, they are fitted together and fixed with a metal screw.

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