Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Forearm Case 1 History/Physical Exam

Galeazzi Fracture


History and Physical Exam

The typical history is a fall that causes an axial load to be placed on a hyperpronated forearm. The radius fracture is usually obvious clinically with deformity, pain, and swelling. Forearm compartment syndrome can be associated with Galeazzi fractures.

An often overlooked complication is anterior interosseous nerve palsy because there is no sensory deficit. This is a purely motor nerve that branches off the median nerve. Loss of function of this nerve manifests as an inability to pinch between the thumb and index finger.