Ulnar Styloid Fracture Picture:
The picture above shows the right side of the face. The left side of the face is not visible due to facial swelling. You can see that there are two small fractures in the upper part of your eye socket (the orbital floor). These fractures are called Ulnar styloid fracture and they are located just above your ear.
They were caused by a fall from height or by a hard blow to the head when you were young. They have healed well without any complications.
Ulnar styloid fracture is one of the most common causes of vision loss in children. Children with this condition often lose their sight completely after a few years of age. This condition is known as juvenile idiopathic glaucoma (JIG) because it usually occurs before the onset of signs and symptoms such as headaches, night blindness, and other visual disturbances.
Ulnar styloid fracture is a congenital disorder that affects both eyes. It is characterized by the presence of two small fractures in the upper part of the orbit (orbito-frontal joint). These fractures may be separated by less than half an inch, but usually are not so close together. The bones do not meet at all; rather they lie parallel to each other and slightly protrude into each other’s space.
This condition usually starts to affect the vision in midlife, but it may also occur during infancy or old age.
Ulnar styloid fracture often occurs in adults between the ages of 15 and 40 and is usually as a result of severe head trauma. These fractures were common during the World War I due to the modern weapons used at that time. During the war, these fractures were referred to as ‘coal miner’s wrist’ because they occurred mostly in people who used pickaxes and shovels for their livelihood.
Ulnar styloid fracture was first described by Sir Robert Jones in 1924. He was a Welsh surgeon who won the Nobel Prize for his work in tumor surgery. Today, this condition is more commonly known as “broken wrist.”
If you know anyone with ulnar styloid fracture, you should recommend that they visit an ophthalmologist. Early detection and treatment is essential to avoid permanent loss of vision. In some cases, your loved one may be referred to a hand or wrist specialist. The treatment for this condition may include rest and wearing a splint or cast for a few weeks.
Your family member may also be treated with pain relievers and antibiotics to prevent infection. In severe cases, your loved one may require surgery to fuse the bones together or remove one or both of the fractured bones.
The main symptom of ulnar styloid fracture is pain in the wrist and hand. There may also be pain when moving or using the wrist and hand, especially for common activities such as writing or gripping objects between the fingers and palm. There may also be numbness, swelling, and bruising along the inside of the elbow.
Ulnar styloid fracture can sometimes be difficult to detect or diagnose. In some cases, the symptoms of broken knuckles may resemble those of arthritis or gout. Your family member may also believe that he or she has sprained a wrist, and not realize it is actually broken. In some cases, the doctor may give a preliminary diagnosis of tendinitis or a sprain, and then send your loved one for an x-ray to confirm the ulnar styloid fracture.
The treatment for ulnar styloid fracture is determined by the severity of the condition. In some cases, your family member may be able to avoid surgery and complete a course of treatment with non-surgical procedures such as bracing or casting. Your family member’s doctor may also recommend physical therapy to improve movement and flexibility in the wrist and hand. During physical therapy, your loved one may be given special exercises to help rebuild strength in the hand and wrist.
Most ulnar styloid fractures can be treated successfully as long as your family member receives prompt medical attention. Your family member should see an ophthalmologist immediately to determine the full extent of the injury and whether or not surgical intervention is needed. The sooner this is done, the better the chances are for a complete recovery.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ulnar styloid fractures associated with distal radius fractures: incidence and implications for distal radioulnar joint instability by MM May, JN Lawton, PE Blazar – The Journal of hand surgery, 2002 – Elsevier
The effect of an associated ulnar styloid fracture on the outcome after fixation of a fracture of the distal radius by Y Zenke, A Sakai, T Oshige… – The Journal of …, 2009 – online.boneandjoint.org.uk
Should an ulnar styloid fracture be fixed following volar plate fixation of a distal radial fracture? by JK Kim, YD Koh, NH Do – JBJS, 2010 – journals.lww.com
Classification and treatment of ulnar styloid nonunion by RM Hauck, J Skahen III, AK Palmer – The Journal of hand surgery, 1996 – Elsevier
The effect of ulnar styloid fractures on patient-rated outcomes after volar locking plating of distal radius fractures by DM Sammer, HM Shah, MJ Shauver… – The Journal of hand …, 2009 – Elsevier
Do we underestimate the predictive value of the ulnar styloid affection in Colles fractures? by GV Oskarsson, P Aaser, A Hjall – Archives of orthopaedic and trauma …, 1997 – Springer