Wrist Fracture Treatment, Fractured Wrist Healing Time and Recovery, Wrist Bone Fracture Surgery and Causes
The wrist, which is located on the lower arm, is composed of two bones- the ulna and radius. It is also the joint where the bones of the hand are joined. The usual causes of wrist fractures are falls, particularly when the person extends his arm to break his fall. Since the hand and the forearm cannot take all the weight during a fall, the bones in the wrist will absorb all the tensions and the bones may fracture.
According to studies, women outnumber men in terms of wrist fracture cases and this ratio is related to the loss of bone density when women reach their menopausal stage. Because men do not experience menopause, the incidence of broken wrist in men is almost constant. Findings also state that it is during winter when wrist fractures commonly occur and these happen outdoors when people slip because of slippery pavements.
Wrist Fracture Types
So far, there are only two major types of wrist fractures and these are the following:
• Colles fracture. This is a fracture that occurs around one or two inches away from the distal radius. The term Colles is derived from the name of the doctor who first study and described about the wrist fracture that affects women.
• Scaphoid fracture. This involves the small wrist bone or the scaphoid bone. This bone is one of the carpal bones and part of the appendicular skeleton. Other conditions that can damage the scaphoid bone are osteoporosis, dislocations, infection or trauma.
If a person fell hard with an outstretched arm and developed bruises in his wrists, which later became sore, this may indicate a broken wrist. However, a sprain can also develop the same symptoms so in order to be sure if the wrist is fractured, better bring the person to a doctor so that he can be assessed for his wrist strength and check for physical manifestations of a broken wrist. Usually a fractured wrist encounter persistent pain in the broken area, swelling but not directly on the wrist, there would abnormal movement of the fingers and numbness that indicates damage to the nerves. Moreover, the doctor will conduct a thorough examination of the wrist and will do an x-ray to confirm his findings. The rehabilitation of displaced wrist fracture should begin immediately.
• Falls are the number one cause of broken wrist and if some people are already suffering from a weakened bone, simple falls can instantly cause fractures in the wrist bone.
• Osteoporosis causes the bone to degenerate so with only a minor accident when the wrist is involved, this could easily spell wrist fracture.
• Sports related wrist fractures. Some athletes today are also experiencing wrist fractures because some of their favorite sports are almost on high impact level so falls from soccer, basketball, football, motorcycling, in-line skating, skateboarding and so on usually contribute to their incidence of wrist fractures.
Fractured Wrist Symptoms – Signs of a fractured wrist:
• Pain in the wrist usually indicates bone breakage in the area and nerve damage.
• A deformed wrist means a severely fractured wrist.
• Swelling of the injured wrist
• Bruising and sometimes bleeding.
• Tenderness in the injured area
• Obviously a bone that is protruding through the skin from the wrist area spells a worse case of broken wrist so the person must be immediately rushed to the hospital
Wrist Fracture Treatment
Fractured wrists treatments always depend on the type of fracture of the wrist. If there is simple wrist fracture but the edges still remain complete then simple realignment may be required. This process is called reduction and the wrist will be put in cast for a few days until fully recovered. For complex fractures, which could mean many pieces of broken bone on the wrist, surgery may be required. Doctors do not usually use screws or pins to reattach the bones but the use of cast or splint would be sufficient to put the bones back in place. Wrist fracture surgery may involve inserting a plate.
Physical therapy will follow after the cast has been removed and you will have your finger or wrist fracture exercises to regain the strength of your wrist and hands. You may be required also to wear wrist support to support the damaged joint until your hand is completely fine, with no indications of wrist injury anymore.
Wrist Fracture Recovery Time: More than 6 weeks
Healing Time: More than 6 weeks
Prevention of Complications:
For those who have osteoporosis or those who are starting to develop the condition, you must do some activities to preserve your bone’s health and some of the best things you can do are weight-bearing exercises and include vitamin D and calcium in your diet. For people who are into sports, the best thing they could do is to wear wrist support or gloves that extend up to their wrist. Remember that the wrist is the exit point of the radial nerve that supplies blood to the whole arm and you do not want to damage it.
When to Call A Doctor-
If you have read the symptoms indicated here then you must know when to bring the person to the hospital. Usually the person himself will know if he has a fractured wrist. If the person cannot carry objects using the arm, has a deformity on the joint, cannot flex or straighten the joint and there is swelling with bruising, then these are clear indicators that the person needs to see a doctor.