Dislocation of the distal radioulnar joint is most commonly caused by a traumatic injury, such as a fall on an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the joint. It can also occur in athletes who participate in contact sports.
Diagnosis of a dislocated distal radioulnar joint is made with physical examination and imaging. Physical examination may reveal swelling, tenderness, and deformity in the region. X-rays can help to determine the severity of the dislocation and rule out any associated fractures.
Differential diagnosis of a distal radioulnar joint dislocation includes other elbow joint dislocations, such as the proximal radioulnar joint, as well as fractures and ligamentous injuries.
Treatment of a dislocated distal radioulnar joint usually involves reduction of the joint back into its normal position. This can be done manually or with the use of sedation or general anesthesia. Following reduction, the joint needs to be immobilized for several weeks in order to allow for proper healing.
With proper treatment and immobilization, most patients make a full recovery from a distal radioulnar joint dislocation. However, some patients may experience recurrent dislocations and may require further treatment, such as surgical intervention, to prevent future episodes.