Our aim was to correlate the health status with objective and radiological outcomes in patients treated by open reduction and internal fixation for fractures of both bones of the forearm. We assessed 23 patients (24 fractures) subjectively, objectively and radiologically at a mean of 34 months (11 to 72). Subjective assessment used the disability of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) and musculoskeletal functional attachment (MFA) questionnaires. The range of movement of the forearm and wrist, grip and pinch strength were measured objectively and standardised radiographs were evaluated. In general, patients reported good overall function based on the DASH (mean 12; range 0 to 42) and MFA (mean 19; range 0 to 51) scores. However, pronation and grip and pinch strength were significantly decreased (p < 0.005). These deficiencies correlated with poorer subjective outcomes. Operative stabilisation of fractures of the radius and ulna led to a reliably acceptable functional outcome. However, despite these generally satisfactory results, the outcome scores worsened with reduction in the range of movement of the forearm and wrist.