Traumatic bowing is a plastic deformity of the radius. The cortical bone is subject to tensile forces on the convex side and compressive forces on the concave side. If this exceeds the elastic limit, but not the load to failure, deformity will occur without radiological evidence of fracture.
Bowing is more common in young children or in older children with vitamin D deficiency.
Plastic deformity of a long bone is often underestimated. This is particularly relevant to the radius as it has a natural bow. Knowledge of the radiological anatomy and correct axis of the radius is therefore important.