Learning Radiology xray montage

"Nightstick Fracture"

General Considerations
  • Typically caused by the defensive action of holding one's arm in front of one's head to avoid being struck by a blunt object, such as a policeman's baton or nightstick

Clinical Findings

  • Pain and swelling at point of injury

Imaging Findings

  • Transverse fracture of the shaft of the ulna
  • Mid-diaphysis is common location
  • Frequently, non-displaced


  • Immobilization
  • Open-reduction usually not performed unless there are more than 5 mm of displacement or 10-15 degrees of angulation
  • Non-union can occur in up to 5% of cases 

 Nightstick Fracture

Nightstick Fracture. Lateral (left image) and frontal views of the forearm demonstrate a non-displaced, transverse fracture of the ulna (white circles).