If you or someone you know may have suffered a wrist fracture in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, please REACH OUT to one of our trained Hand/Wrist Specialists today!
What Is A Wrist Fracture?
A wrist fracture occurs when a bone at the base of the hand breaks or cracks. The most common way patients fracture their wrists involves landing hard on the wrist when attempting to catch themselves during a fall. Athletes who participate in sports like skating or snowboarding have a higher risk of fracturing their risks, along with patients suffering from osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to lose density and strength.
Early treatment of a fractured wrist will help minimize pain and stiffness and prevent the bones from healing in an improper alignment, which can affect a patient’s ability to accomplish everyday activities such as writing or buttoning a shirt.
Indication Of A Wrist Fracture
Symptoms of a wrist fracture can vary depending on the severity and type of fracture, but common signs and symptoms include:
- Pain: Wrist fractures typically cause significant pain, which can be sharp, throbbing, or aching. The pain may worsen with movement or when pressure is applied to the wrist.
- Swelling: The injured area may become swollen, causing visible or palpable puffiness around the wrist joint.
- Bruising: Discoloration or bruising may occur around the wrist, resulting from damaged blood vessels and bleeding into the surrounding tissues.
- Tenderness: The area around the fracture site may be tender to touch. Pressing on the injured area can elicit pain.
- Deformity: In some cases, a wrist fracture may cause a visible deformity or abnormal alignment of the wrist bones. The wrist may appear crooked or bent unnaturally.
- Stiffness: A wrist fracture can lead to stiffness and a limited range of motion in the affected wrist. Moving the wrist may be difficult or painful.
- Weakness: The injured wrist may feel weak, making it challenging to grip or hold objects.
- Numbness or tingling: If a fracture causes damage to nearby nerves, you may experience numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” sensation in the fingers or hand.
Treatment For a Wrist Fracture
The treatment for a wrist fracture typically involves:
- Immobilization: The fractured wrist is often immobilized with a cast, splint, or brace to keep the bones in proper alignment and allow for healing.
- Pain management: Pain medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed medications, may be recommended to manage pain and discomfort.
- Elevation and ice: Elevating the injured wrist and applying ice packs can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
- Follow-up care: Regular follow-up visits with a healthcare professional are necessary to monitor the healing progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
In some cases, if the fracture is severe or involves a displaced or unstable bone, surgery may be required. Surgical options can include the use of pins, plates, or screws to realign and stabilize the fractured bones.
After the initial healing phase, rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy may be prescribed to restore wrist strength, flexibility, and function.
The specific treatment approach will depend on factors such as the type of fracture, its location, and the individual’s overall health. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for a wrist fracture.