A wrist fracture is a common injury that often occurs after a fall onto an outstretched hand. As a result, one or more of the wrist bones—the two long forearm bones (radius and ulna), and the eight small wrist bones (carpal bones)—is cracked or broken. Although anyone can sustain a wrist fracture, athletes and individuals who have weakened bones due to osteoporosis are at higher risk.
Signs of a Wrist Fracture
In addition to pain and tenderness, a broken wrist may cause:
Usually, the pain worsens with hand and wrist movements, such as squeezing and gripping objects. In some cases, an obvious deformity is present, such as an abnormal bend to the wrist.
If a broken wrist bone is aligned and immobilized, it can potentially mend on its own. However, to ensure full and proper healing, it is important to see a physician for professional treatment as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
Wrist Fracture Diagnosis & Treatment
The outstanding team of physicians at Premier Bone & Joint Centers includes board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic hand and wrist surgeons who practice at our satellite clinic in Rock Springs, Wyoming. After performing an on-site X-ray, we can determine whether a broken wrist bone is correctly positioned and, if not, reset it. If we believe the bone will not heal well with a cast alone, we may suggest surgical treatment, which usually involves the placement of pins to hold the ends of the broken bone in place as it mends.
Next, we will immobilize the injury. In some cases, a splint may be worn until the swelling subsides and a cast can be applied. Throughout the healing process, we may periodically take X-rays to confirm that the broken bone remains properly positioned.
While recovering from a wrist fracture, some patients find it helpful to elevate their broken wrist and apply ice. If necessary, an over-the-counter pain reliever or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) can be taken as directed.
If you believe you may have a wrist fracture, contact Premier Bone & Joint Centers to schedule an appointment at our satellite clinic in Rock Springs, WY. We can promptly evaluate your injury and explain your treatment options.