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Ulnar Styloid Fracture Treatment | Surgery, Symptoms, Healing Time, Recovery

23 Sep

There are many bones and other structures that can be found on the wrist region. At the same time, there are other structures that support the wrist for its proper function.  The wrist is the part of our body that is highly mobile. It enables us to support actions that involve complex movements and it can also stand heavy force that we expect through its help. Because of this, it is not surprising that one can suffer from displaced or undisplaced fracture wrist.

Wrist fracture is one of the most common types of bone fracture.  In fact, it is believed to comprise around one-fourth of total incidents of fracture of the limbs. The usual parts of the wrist that suffer from fracture injury are the distal radius and ulnar styloid (more commonly known as the ulna). On the other hand, the carpal parts of the wrist do not suffer much from fracture. There are only rare cases of fracture on the carpal areas. Identifying the right fracture diagnosis and treatment would ensure the recover of the affected individual.

In this article, we would be focusing on one type of wrist fractures—the ulnar styloid fracture. At the same time, we will still be discussing the other forms of wrist fracture that would be associated with the fracture of ulnar styloid. Thus, we might also discuss along the way the conditions that are related to an undisplaced fracture hand.

To understand what an ulnar styloid bone fracture is, we need to first identify the location of this bone. The ulnar styloid is one of the long bones found in the forearm. It is in parallel with the distal radius. It is also one of the ones that supports and coordinates with the carpal points and wrist joints to provide the right action and movement of the wrist area.

In most fracture instances that affect the wrist, it is the distal radius that is highly affected. This is the part of the forearm that is parallel to the ulnar styloid. Most cases that affect the wrist are associated with a distal radial fracture. In fact, there are already many forms of this fracture. Still, half of the cases that suffer from distal radial fracture also suffer from ulnar styloid avulsion fracture, resulting to distal radial ulnar fracture.  This is the reason distal radial is also similar to a patient that has a radial styloid fracture. Thus, an ulnar styloid fracture treatment would be better understood in relation to the treatments that are given to distal radial fracture.


The common reasons for ulnar styloid fractures are also similar with other types of bone fractures. High-impact falls and vehicular accidents are still the leading causes of this problem. Kids and adults that have fractured styloid ulnar bone are usually those that are involved in activities that are risk-taking. At the same time, older people tend to encounter this type of fracture because of sudden falls. At times, the occurrence and fracture complications of this type of injury are being affected with osteoporosis among older people.

Symptoms of wrist fracture

Just like any other forms of fracture, the immediate symptom that one would encounter is pain. In the case of this type of fracture, wrist pain is the first thing that would be noticed. At the same time, the pain goes with swelling and tenderness of the broken ulnar styloid bone. In instances wherein one suffers from a displaced fracture, deformity can be observed in the affected region.  The area with the ulnar styloid injury would look weird, making it easily distinguishable. More of these symptoms can be observed when one suffers from a distal ulnar styloid fracture or the fracture wherein both the distal radius and ulnar styloid are cracked or broken.

At times, it may be hard to identify a broken bone. This is especially true for a nondisplaced fracture on the ulnar styloid process. Though the same symptoms may be experienced, a nondisplaced fracture is just hard to identify because there would be no deformity on the affected region.  Still, it is appropriate to take note of the presence of the abovementioned symptoms to ensure one’s wellness and health condition. Right after the accident, go to the doctor. This is advisable especially when you hear something crack and you start feeling the pain. Nondipslaced fractures are especially tricky because their symptoms do not show immediately.

When one already suffers from all these fracture symptoms due to abovementioned causes, it is just right to immediately seek the help of a doctor to avoid fracture complications that may just worsen the condition.

Immediate and temporary treatment

When suffering from the abovementioned symptoms and thinks that there is a possibility for a fracture (whether it may be the distal radius or the ulnar styloid), it is appropriate to consider first aid procedures to avoid complications. First aid treatments would include temporary splinting of the affected part and taking of medicines to control the pain and swelling of the fractured wrist. When all these things have already been secured, rushing to the hospital is needed to receive the right treatment for the styloid fracture.

Diagnosing a wrist fracture

The very basic method to identify ulnar styloid fractures and other types of bone fracture is through an X-ray method. It is through this that the condition and severity of the fracture would be identified. In some instances, the need for a CT scan may be needed to ensure the right way of styloid process treatment or if there would be a need for a fracture surgery for the broken bone.

In cases where one suffers from an undsplaced fracture, the results that the CT scan would provide would be able to identify the right ulnar styloid process that the doctor will use for the recover of the patient. It is also through this process that one would be able to confirm the severity and condition of the ulnar styloid process fracture especially when the X-ray failed to show the right condition of the fracture.


There are two ways on how to treat wrist fracture quick: surgical and non-surgical. This is just true for any forms of fracture. The use of nonsurgical method involves the use of fracture cast to support the alignment of the broken bone. This is usually done on nondisplaced fracture cases. Usually, the fracture healing time for this method would take up to six weeks for any other classification of bone fracture. In the case of ulnar styloid fracture, the use of long arm plaster is needed and would take up to 3 to 4 weeks as its recovery time. In this method, the fracture is being healed naturally through the body’s own mechanism. The use of brace/braces is just incorporated in the treatment to help the body reconfigure the broken structure. While waiting for the ulnar styloid fracture healing time to be over, you need patience because you cannot move your wrist unless it is completely healed.

On the other hand, the use of surgical method would be highly dependent on the condition and location of the fracture. A styloid process of ulna may require a closed reduction together with the use of a K-wire. This is commonly used in cases where the fracture occurred at the base. This is important because it helps in securing the stability of the affected area. At times, open reduction is preferred. The right use of surgical procedure is highly dependent on the condition and severity of the fracture. Only the doctor would be able to suggest the right procedure after considering many factors that would highly affect the treatment.

These are just some of the basic details and information that we ought to know about ulnar styloid fracture and the rest of the wrist fracture incidences. Still, there are other forms of wrist fracture which is basically affecting the distal radius. Getting to know more about these forms and how they can be treated would be essential too. Finding out about these matters would not be difficult to find since there are already quite a number of articles that have been written for these different types of fractures. After all, most cases of ulnar styloid fracture are affected or go with a distal radius fracture. Thus, it is really important to learn about them.

2 Responses to “Ulnar Styloid Fracture Treatment | Surgery, Symptoms, Healing Time, Recovery”

  1. Raul 20. Apr, 2012 at 12:23 am #

    Huge bruise on my arm when I hit the door while drunk. Not much pain though. I’ll wait for a week and then see

  2. Chris 29. May, 2012 at 4:08 am #

    My wrist does not hurt much but I hit it pretty bad. Do I have a fracture?

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