Ulnar Nerve Injury as a Result of Galeazzi Fracture: A Case Report and Literature Review

Hand (N Y). 2017 Sep;12(5):NP162-NP165. doi: 10.1177/1558944717715137. Epub 2017 Jul 13.


Background: Sparse documentation of Galeazzi fracture with associated nerve injury exists in the medical literature. The purpose of this report is to review the available literature in regard to incidence, nerve injury type, treatment strategies, and expected outcomes.

Methods: We present a classic Galeazzi fracture dislocation with associated complete ulnar nerve transection injury at the level of the wrist. After rigid internal bony stabilization, allograft nerve repair was performed. The patient's presentation, operative management, recovery, and a thorough literature review are discussed.

Results: Fracture union was attained with near full wrist and elbow range of motion. Despite lack of ulnar nerve function return, the patient was able to resume manual labor occupation.

Conclusions: Despite its close proximity to the dislocating distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ), thorough review reveals rare associated ulnar nerve palsy. If there is suspicion for nerve injury in the setting of open DRUJ dislocation, the nerve should be explored to identify possible entrapment or transection. Literature supports likely return of nerve function in cases of intact nerve; however, management of nerve transection remains debatable.

Keywords: Galeazzi; Galeazzi fracture; nerve allograft; nerve repair; ulnar nerve; ulnar nerve injury.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fracture Dislocation / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radius Fractures / complications*
  • Ulnar Nerve / injuries*
  • Ulnar Neuropathies / etiology
  • Wrist Injuries / complications*