The choice of treatment depends on the stability of the fracture.
Many true single bone fractures are minimally displaced, stable fractures and may be treated conservatively.
A completely displaced fracture is unstable. Conservative treatment is more difficult and primary operative fixation may be required.
For further details on stability see the corresponding additional material.
Note: In contrast to bowing, a greenstick fracture has a risk of increasing angulation due to periosteal rupture.
Note: Isolated ulnar fractures may be associated with proximal radio-ulnar joint subluxation/dislocation (Monteggia lesion).
Initial x-rays must be carefully evaluated to identify fractures of the radial head or neck.
Stability of the joint must be confirmed in every case, using an image intensifier if necessary.