Exceptions To The Rules
There are major exceptions to these rules. For example, a fractured scaphoid bone may hurt for a few days and then stop hurting completely its the best imitator of wrist sprains out there. Many scaphoid fractures have been mis-diagnosed as wrist sprains over the years, leading to early arthritis and wrist pain.
In a similar way, if the wrong ligaments are torn in the wrist, it will lead to arthritis as the bones that used to be held together now move abnormally against one another.
Treatment For Wrist Sprain
For mild sprains, the RICE protocol is very effective at relieving symptoms:
- Rest Do not use your wrist for 48 hours. You may need a splint to help.
- Ice Ice your wrist immediately after injury then for 20 minutes, 2-3 times per day. Never apply ice directly to your skin remember to wrap the ice in a clean cloth before using.
- Compression Use a compression wrap or bandage to reduce swelling.
- Elevation Elevate your arm as often as you can, keeping it above your heart level.
In addition to following the RICE protocol, you may also consider using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen to reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor may also recommend some stretching exercises to help you regain full mobility in your wrist. Furthermore, if your injury requires a splint, you can find these at your local drugstore. Keep in mind that a severe wrist sprain may require surgery.
What Are The Treatment Options For A Broken Wrist
In the majority of cases, surgery isnt necessary for wrist fractures. Your doctor may be able to reset the fracture, put a splint and then a cast on your wrist, and wait for the bones to heal. Regular X-rays will be performed to make sure your wrist is healing as it should.
The exact type of treatment youll need depends on some of the following factors:
- Fracture location
- Hand dominance
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When Youll Definitely Need Surgery
If your broken wrist is more complicated than just breaking the end of the radius, youll likely need surgery to repair it. If the radius was broken higher up on the bone or if you broke both the radius and ulna, it may not heal on its own.
The typical surgery to repair a badly broken wrist is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. We may use titanium plates or pins to fix the bones in the proper place.
The rest of the healing procedure is similar to that of less complicated wrist breaks. Youll wear a cast or splint for 6 to 8 weeks and well do regular X-rays to see how well your bones are healing. Once the cast or splint comes off, physical therapy is often recommended so you can regain normal use of your wrist.
If you broke your wrist, contact us to learn about your road to recovery. Call one of our offices in Hartford, Glastonbury, Tolland, and Bloomfield, Connecticut, or request an appointment online today.
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Because both bones are usually involved, forearm fractures often cause an obvious deformity your forearm may appear bent and shorter than your other arm. You will most likely need to support your injured arm with your other hand. Inability to rotate arm. Numbness or weakness in the fingers or wrist
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What Is The Physiological Difference Between A Wrist Sprain And A Broken Wrist
The wrist is anatomically complex. A wrist sprain occurs when a ligament in the wrist is injured. Ligaments are bands of connective tissue that stretch from one bone to another. Wrist sprains typically involve stretching or tearing a ligament.
In contrast, a broken wrist occurs when you actually fracture a bone in the wrist. The wrist consists of 13 different bones, and any of these could be fractured during an injury. This could be as small as a hairline fracture in the bone, but a broken wrist can cause major pain.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Broken Wrist
Common symptoms of a broken wrist include:
- severe pain in your wrist
- swollen wrist
- a bruise around your wrist
- tingling or numbness of your hands or fingers
- difficulty moving your hands and fingers
- your wrist appears odd in shape.
|If you think you or someone you care for has a broken wrist, you should:|
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Identifying Symptoms Of A Sprained Wrist
Common Causes Of A Broken Wrist
Broken wrists, or Colles fractures, are the most common fracture of the arm. They occur when the larger of the two forearm bones breaks near the wrist on the thumb side. Activities that put people at risk for broken wrists include in-line skating, skiing, and biking, although anyone who falls onto an outstretched hand can break a wrist. Elderly people who are prone to falls and have osteoporosis have a high risk of breaking their wrists.
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Wrist Sprain Vs Broken Wrist: Signs To Tell Which Happened
There are eight small bones in your wrist. Any of them can break and cause severe damage to your wrist.
Depending on the break, your wrist could take anywhere from weeks to months to heal.
Maybe you broke one of these eight wrist bones, but youre unsure if its a break or a sprain. How do you tell the difference?
Heres a guide on the difference between a wrist sprain and a wrist break that can give you insight on if you should see a doctor and the treatment options available to you.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Broken Wrist
Wrist fractures are common injuries affecting people of all ages. These injuries often occur from a fall on an outstretched arm or sports-related accident. Wrist fractures are sometimes obvious — but not always. Common signs and symptoms to look for include swelling, joint deformity and pain. Numbness and tingling in your fingers or hand may also be a tip-off.
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How Long Should A Cast Be On For A Broken Hand
Depending on the location and stability of the fracture, you may have to wear the cast for 3 to 6 weeks. Some types of fractures can be protected by wearing a removable splint or by being buddy strapped to an adjacent non-injured finger. The non-injured finger acts as a moving splint to support the injured finger.
Hairline Wrist Fracture Cast Or Splint
Immobilization may require a custom splint or a cast. For workers or athletes who need to continue their activity while healing, an ActivArmor cast may be an option. ActivArmor is the latest technology in casting. This allows 3D scanning and printing of a hard plastic custom cast. This allows the fractured area to get wet and protects against potential forces.
Hairline Fracture Wrist Cast in ActivArmor
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Our Approach To Hand And Wrist Fractures
UCSF offers world-class care for both simple and complex injuries, including broken bones in the hand or wrist. Most such fractures can be treated with a splint or cast to hold the bone in place while it heals. Other cases require surgery.
Our team includes highly trained orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating the hand, wrist and arm. They provide expert repair of hand and wrist fractures using state-of-the-art techniques and technology.
Is Wrist Broken Or Sprained
If you have a wrist sprain, you may be able to move the wrist in a range of motion. It may be painful, but you will still be able to do it. That usually means the bones are not broken, and you have a sprain. Another sign of a wrist sprain is that there are swelling and redness around the sprained area of the wrist.
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Common Causes Of A Wrist Fracture
Most people break their radius bone, which is one of the two main bones in the forearm that is connected to 8 smaller bones. Common causes of a wrist fracture or break include the following:
- Attempting to stop a fall using your outstretched arm and hand
- Falling off a bike or ladder
- Car or motorcycle accident
- Playing sports
If your wrist is swollen and painful, it is best to consult with Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic for a diagnosis. If you wait too long and simply ice it and keep it elevated, you could cause even more damage. Its better to have the appropriate tests completed to know what you are dealing with, as treatment will be very different for a broken wrist compared to one that is simply sprained.
Can You Still Move A Broken Wrist
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How Do You Treat A Broken Wrist At Home
How can you care for yourself at home? Put ice or a cold pack on your wrist for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Follow the splint or cast care instructions your doctor gives you. Take pain medicines exactly as directed. Prop up your wrist on pillows when you sit or lie down in the first few days after the injury.
Is My Wrist Fractured
Fractures can cause mild or dull pain, and sprains can often cause severe pain. There are a few telltale symptoms to detect a wrist fracture: deformity of the wrist or bone matter breaking through the skin are obvious signs of fracture. When these occur, individuals need to seek medical care right away.
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Diagnosing A Wrist Sprain
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What Is A Distal Radius Fracture
The radius is one of two forearm bones and is located on the thumb side. The part of the radius connected to the wrist joint is called the distal radius. When the radius breaks near the wrist, it is called a distal radius fracture.
The break usually happens due to falling on an outstretched or flexed hand. It can also happen in a car accident, a bike accident, a skiing accident or another sports activity.
A distal radius fracture can be isolated, which means no other fractures are involved. It can also occur along with a fracture of the distal ulna . In these cases, the injury is called a distal radius and ulna fracture.
Depending on the angle of the distal radius as it breaks, the fracture is called a Colles or Smith fracture.
- A Colles fracture may result from direct impact to the palm, like if you use your hands to break up a fall and land on the palms. The side view of a wrist after a Colles fracture is sometimes compared to the shape of a fork facing down. There is a distinct bump in the wrist similar to the neck of the fork. It happens because the broken end of the distal radius shifts up toward the back of the hand.
- A Smith fracture is the less common of the two. It may result from an impact to the back of the wrist, such as falling on a bent wrist. The end of the distal radius typically shifts down toward the palm side in this type of fracture. This usually makes for a distinct drop in the wrist where the longer part of the radius ends.
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What Makes Yale Medicine’s Approach To Treating Wrist Fracture Unique
Treatment of wrist fracture can be quite complex. Dr. Swigart believes that patients benefit when treated by an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand surgery and performs many wrist fracture repair procedures.
There are a variety of ways to fix a distal radius fracture, including several different types of implants, explains Dr. Swigart. And while some types of implants are used often, others are only employed rarely. Its important to work with a doctor who knows about and is able to use all of them, she adds.
Also of value, Dr. Swigart says, is Yale Medicines involvement in clinical research, which often gives patients access to leading edge techniques and therapies well before they become widely available. For example, she says: My work includes both clinical and biomechanical research on treating wrist fracture, and our department has been consistently involved. Being involved in the research brings insights into why things work and which things work best.
How Is A Broken Wrist Diagnosed
If you think you may have a broken wrist, you should see a doctor straight away.
Your doctor will assess your general condition, as well as the seriousness of your injury. They will ask about how the injury happened, any symptoms and your medical background.The most common way to diagnose a fracture is by an x-ray. These show the type of break and its location within the bone. Sometimes, a wrist fracture is hard to see on an x-ray. In that case, you may get a repeat x-ray after a week or more, or have a CT scan or MRI scan, depending on what the doctor thinks is most useful.
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What Is Involved With Broken Wrist Treatment
In addition to a splint or cast, your doctor may suggest the following to reduce pain and swelling:
- Elevating your wrist Put your wrist on a pillow above your heart level for a few days.
- Applying ice Apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every few hours for two to three days may help fractured wrists, but take care so you dont get it on your splint or cast.
- Taking medication In some cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can also help.
- Exercises Your doctor may recommend strengthening and stretching exercises for your fingers, elbow, and shoulder.
In some cases, surgery might be needed for wrist fractures. Your orthopedic physician may recommend this option if the fracture pattern of your wrist makes it difficult to properly set and realign your bones.
If this is the case, surgery can help stabilize the fractured pieces.
Using pins, screws, plates, rods, or other methods can help set the fractured pieces. If a bone is severely crushed enough to leave a gap in the bone after its been realigned, a bone graft may be added to help the area heal properly.
Depending on the severity of your break, it can take a broken wrist anywhere from eight weeks to six months or so to fully heal. Dont rush back into your normal activities too soon, or you could delay your recovery.