Exposure of both the radius and ulna through a single posterior incision: a technical note

SICOT J. 2015 Jul 23;1:21. doi: 10.1051/sicotj/2015024.


Fractures of both the radius and ulna are usually treated with two separate incisions and rarely with one single incision. However, both methods have disadvantages. For this we describe a relatively safe single straight posterior incision for exposure of the whole shafts of both the radius and ulna with the forearm rested on a board across the chest. This procedure was used in 116 forearms in 115 patients. The incision was in a straight line from the lateral humeral epicondyle to the ulnar head. The ulna was exposed between the extensor carpi ulnaris muscle and flexor digitorum profundus muscle covered by the aponeurosis of the flexor carpi ulnaris muscle and the radius between the extensor digitorum muscle and the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle. During operation there was no difficulty in reducing or fixing any of the fractures in the whole shafts of the radius and ulna and at follow-up (average 5.2 years) there was no radioulnar synostosis or neurovascular injury in any of the forearms.

Keywords: Exposure; Radius and ulna; Single posterior incision.