We reviewed 18 patients and two traumatic amputation specimens with injuries involving the distal ulnar physis. Type I growth mechanism injuries were the most common fracture pattern with premature physeal closure and ulnar shortening occurring in 55% of the patients. Other consequences included radial bowing, ulnar angulation of the distal radius, and ulnar translocation of the carpus. Most of the patients, however, were asymptomatic. Initial radiographic diagnosis of this physeal injury may be difficult because of the relatively late ossification of the distal ulnar physis. Concomitant ulnar physeal injuries must be suspected in any injury to the distal radius, especially when an ulnar metaphyseal or styloid fracture is not readily evident.
Department of Orthopaedics, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; *the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children; and †the Florida Orthopaedic Institute, Tampa, Florida
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. J. A. Ogden at Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, 12502 North Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612-9499.
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