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Emergency: requires immediate attention
Galeazzi fracture dislocation
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed
Emergency: requires immediate attention

Galeazzi fracture dislocation

Contributors: Linda Zhang MD, Danielle Wilbur MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Causes / typical injury mechanism: Galeazzi fracture dislocation (named for Riccardo Galeazzi, who published a case series describing this injury pattern in 1934) is defined as a fracture of the distal radial shaft with associated disruption of the distal radioulnar joint (DRUJ).

The mechanism of this acute injury is forceful axial loading of the forearm with the wrist in extension and typically maximum pronation (but possibly supination), such as when catching oneself during a fall. Other reported mechanisms of injury include motor vehicle accidents, athletics, and falls from a height.

Classic history and presentation: Look for forearm / wrist pain, swelling, and deformity following trauma.

Prevalence: The incidence is less than or equal to 3% of all forearm fractures in children and less than or equal to 7% of all forearm fractures in adults.

Grade / classification system:
Raskin / Rettig Galeazzi fracture-dislocation classification –
  • Type 1: Less than 7.5 cm from distal radius articular surface
    • 55% chance of DRUJ instability requiring fixation
  • Type 2: Greater than 7.5 cm from distal radius articular surface
    • 6% chance of DRUJ instability requiring fixation

Codes

ICD10CM:
S52.379A – Galeazzi's fracture of unspecified radius, initial encounter for closed fracture

SNOMEDCT:
271576001 – Galeazzi fracture dislocation

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment of Galeazzi fractures may result in malunion of the radius, chronic instability or subluxation of the DRUJ, persistent pain, limited forearm rotation, or weak grip strength. In these cases, an orthopedic surgeon may perform late bony correction or stabilization procedures to relieve pain and restore motion as able. However, function and anatomy will likely never be normal.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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References

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Last Reviewed:09/16/2021
Last Updated:11/22/2021
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Emergency: requires immediate attention
Galeazzi fracture dislocation
Copyright © 2022 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.