Wrist fractures are a serious and painful condition that usually occurs as a result of trauma, such as breaking a fall with the wrist. Although wrist fractures can be painful, the majority of cases can be completely healed as long as they are treated promptly. Below, we will take a look at what wrist fracture symptoms you should look for.
Understanding Wrist Fractures
The wrist is composed of a number of bones. Any of these bones can be broken during a wristfracture. In addition, some people damage the bones in the forearm that articulate with the wrist. Athletes and older adults are especially at risk of fracturing the wrist. A fractured wrist can cause pain and can press against the nerves and tendons that run to the hand to control the fingers.
Symptoms of Wrist Fractures
If you have sustained a wrist fracture, you may experience a variety of symptoms depending on the location and severity of the fracture. Some common symptoms include:
- Severe pain
- Pain that gets worse when gripping or squeezing
- Inability or difficulty moving the hand
- Numbness in the hand
- Visibly bent or deformed wrist
- Bone poking from skin
If you are experiencing these symptoms and believe you have a wrist fracture, it is important to seek treatment promptly. Fractures are more likely to heal fully when they are treated promptly.
Treatments for Wrist Fractures
Treatment for wrist fractures depends on the nature of the fracture. If the fracture is a hairline or stress fracture, the location of the bone is left intact. The goal of treatment in this case is to immobilize the wrist so that the bone can heal without sustaining any further damage. This type of fracture is usually casted or splinted.
If the wrist is fractured in many places, the fracture is an open fracture, or the bone is severed in two, then surgery is usually necessary to put the bones back in their natural positions so that the bones can heal. The doctor first performs open reduction, which is putting the bones back in place, then internal fixation, which is the use of screws, pins, and other hardware to keep the bones in place. Then, the bone is casted.
After the bone heals and the cast comes off, strength and flexibility has often been lost. To relieve these problems, the doctor will recommend exercises you can perform at home. In addition, you might attend formal physical therapy sessions at first.