Acute Ulnar Neurapraxia and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in the Context of a Distal Radius Fracture

Charalampos Siotos MD; Elizabeth S. O'Neill MD, MPH; Ada H. Lumpkin, PA-C; Jafar S. Hasan MD, MBA; Mark A. Grevious MD, MBA, FACS; Matthew E. Doscher, MD, FACS


ePlasty. 2021;21(e6) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Distal radius fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, and ulnar nerve compression are common causes of symptoms that result in patients presenting for hand evaluation. This is a unique case of a distal radius fracture leading to both carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve compression requiring urgent operative management.


Distal radius fractures are among the most common fractures that present to emergency departments.[1,2] The mechanism of injury for these fractures is typically a fall on an outstretched hand. Patients commonly develop carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) after a distal radius fracture.[3] CTS is the most common compressive neuropathy of the upper extremity and inflammation around the median nerve causes progressively debilitating symptoms such as dysesthesia, anesthesia, and wrist pain.[4] Although injury to the ulnar nerve is the most common upper extremity peripheral nerve injury requiring hospitalization, it is less common for a fracture of the distal radius to be the principal cause of ulnar neuropathy.[5] The following is a unique case of both acute ulnar neurapraxia and CTS after distal radius fracture.