Early Motion Protocol for Select Galeazzi Fractures After Radial Shaft Fixation


Galeazzi fractures traditionally are treated in long arm casts with the wrist fully supinated for 6 weeks after open reduction and internal fixation. Recent literature suggests that early motion can be permitted for a subset of Galeazzi fractures. Defining a safe postoperative protocol that allows immediate elbow motion, immediate platform weight bearing, and early wrist motion might decrease elbow morbidity, increase range of motion, and improve outcomes. A retrospective review of a prospectively collected database of 26 patients at a level I trauma center was conducted. Early motion protocol was assigned to patients who were radiographically and clinically stable after plate and screw fixation. Elbow flexion and platform weight bearing were allowed immediately; increased wrist rotation was allowed at 2-week intervals. Early motion of elbow and wrist seems to be safe during postoperative rehabilitation of repaired Galeazzi fractures. The postoperative protocol might maximize elbow and wrist range ofmotion. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 19(2):104–108, 2010)

David E. Gwinn, MD, Robert V. O’Toole, MD, and W. Andrew Eglseder, MD