Wrist Fracture Treatment
A wrist fracture is a break in the bones of the wrist. Patients with fractures typically experience wrist fracture signals including severe pain, swelling, and deformity of the injured wrist. Fractures of the wrist are among the most common injuries and account for up to one-sixth of all fractures seen in emergency rooms.
Wrist Fracture Diagnoses
The most common age groups to have wrist fractures are children aged six to ten years and women in their seventh decade of life. To determine if you have a wrist fracture, your doctor at KSF Houston will review your symptoms and examine your wrist. He or she will then take x-rays to confirm that the wrist is broken. Some fractures are inherently stable and some are not. Some extend into the joint. Your physician will consider the characteristics of the fracture and your particular needs to choose the treatment that is right for you.
Fractured Wrist Treatments
- Manipulation with casting
- Manipulation with the placement of pins
- Manipulation with the placement of an external fixator
- Plating of the bone with screws
Generally, you can start to return to normal activities after six weeks with rehabilitation following cast application or surgery. Severe fractures may require prolonged therapy and rehabilitation.
Wrist fractures are typically not expected and thus prevention is very difficult. Safeguards such as wrist guards are useful when performing high-risk activities. A healthy diet that includes calcium, vitamin D, and a multivitamin is essential for healthy bones.
The radius is the larger of the two bones of the forearm. The end toward the wrist is called the distal end. A fracture of the distal radius occurs when the area of the radius near the wrist breaks.
Wrist Fracture Causes, Symptoms & Signs
- Osteoporosis: where bones become fragile and are more prone to breaking.
- Trauma: Where trauma to the wrist is severe in accidents such as car crashes or falling off bikes.
The patient will feel immediate pain, tenderness, bruising and swelling in the wrist area, while the wrist will also hang in a deformed manner.
Recovery & Healing Times
Recovery times for wrist fractures can depend on the size of the fracture and the treatment that was chosen for the patient: Casts are usually removed after 6 weeks while rehabilitation will be needed to get the wrist functioning back to normal. Patients can expect to have stiffness in the wrist that will usually lessen in the first two months and continue to improve for two years. Learn more about radial hand fractures here.