What is a Wrist Fracture?
- The most commonly broken bone arm is the radius, the larger of the forearm bones. The end toward the wrist is called the distal end, with wrist fracture being the medical term for a broken wrist. There are several different classifications of fractures depending on its location, and they can be unstable or stable depending on whether the bone fragments can be put back into position.
What causes Wrist Fractures?
- The most common cause of wrist fractures is falling onto an outstretched arm or general trauma to hand and wrist. It can be more common in individuals older than 60, especially those with osteoporosis who are prone to fractures.
What are the symptoms of a broken or fractured wrist?
- There is typically immediate pain, tenderness, bruising, and swelling at the site of a fracture, with potential deformity depending on severity. Difficulty moving or using the hand and wrist is expected and sometimes fingers tingle or feel numb at the tips. If you experience trauma to the wrist or hand and are continuing to experience pain, consult an orthopedic specialist.
How are fractured and broken wrists treated?
- Treatment of a fractured or broken wrist typically consists of putting the broken bone pieces back into position and so depends on factors like the fracture’s nature, the patient’s age and activity level. Surgery may be necessary for an unstable fracture whose bone position is too out of place, with an incision made to directly access the bones (open reduction procedure). There are a number of options for holding bones in position during the healing process, like casts, metal pins, plates and screws, or an external fixator/stabilizing frame. Pain from the fracture will continue for a few days to a couple of weeks with recovery usually taking at least a year of reduced vigorous activity. Continued finger movement during recovery is important to prevent stiffness