Osteomyelitis of the ulna

The ulna is not uncommonly involved by haematogenous osteomyelitis. It has a subcutaneous border throughout its whole length, so it is easy to expose.

OSTEOMYELITIS OF THE ULNA Follow the general methods for osteomyelitis in Sections 7.4 to 7.6. Apply a tourniquet.

Drape the patient's arm separately from his trunk. Make an incision anywhere from the tip of his olecranon to his ulnar styloid. Use part of the incision in C, Fig. 7-8, not all of it. Cut straight down on to the shaft of the bone and elevate his periosteum. This will carry the muscular origins of his flexor carpi ulnaris anteriorly, and those of his extensor carpi ulnaris posteriorly.

Postoperatively, apply plaster only if a fracture threatens or has occurred. If so, apply a tubular forearm cast leaving his wrist and elbow free. The remaining bone will prevent angulation. Encourage him to use his arm.