What Are The Different Grades Of Wrist Sprains
There are different grades of wrist sprains that span from a stretch or small tear in the fibers of the ligament to a total tear through the ligament or the tissues that attach to the bone.
- Grade 1 : Ligaments are only stretched.
- Grade 2 : Ligaments are slightly torn and can result in loss of function.
- Grade 3 : Ligament is totally torn or has detached from the bone. If the ligament detaches from the bone, it is possible for it to also take a small piece of the bone, which is known as an avulsion fracture. Typically, any injuries in this grade category will require surgery.
It is possible for what seems like a mild sprain to involve a ligament tear which can result in issues in the long run without surgery. If the wrist injury doesnt resolve on its own within a few days or there is ongoing pain, it is critical to see a hand specialist to avoid long term problems, such as arthritis.
Physical Therapy For Broken Wrist
Physical therapy for a broken wrist usually begins once the cast is removed about six weeks after the fracture has occurred. You might begin while your cast is still on if you have difficulty moving your fingers. Your therapist might fit you for a removable splint once the cast is off to help protect your wrist between exercise sessions.
How Do I Find Out If I Have A Broken Or Sprained Wrist
Unfortunately, if you have pain in the wrist after an injury that isnt going away or getting dramatically better after 3-5 days, go see a doctor you trust and get it checked out. They are usually able to tell if you need to see a hand and wrist specialist or not. X-rays are usually required to diagnose a wrist fracture or severe sprain.
Which Bones Are At Risk
Responsible for providing support for the pelvis and holding it in place. The coccyx or tailbone can be damaged by falling from the stairs or a ladder. People seldom have tailbone fractures since the large mass of Gluteus Maximus tissues protect the tailbone. Notably, more women have tailbone issues than men due to their menstrual periods. Yet, men are also prone to tailbone problems due to physical exhausting from sports and other dangerous activities.
The rib, which holds as the cage for the chest, can quickly get the infection through open fractures. Sternum broken bones are common for vehicular accidents through seatbelt malfunctions and crushing from high impact sports. People with osteoporosis, menopausal women, and steroid users are more susceptible to having a broken chest.
- Legs, Hands, And Feet
The difference of injury on a persons legs, hands, and feet are all connected to the many joints and fragments in the persons skeletal system. People always use these three body parts daily and are prone to break from a fall or accident. It is more painful to have little injuries in this area as it may lead to bone loss.
The Recovery Process: Broken Hand Healing Time
Most patients should expect to have a follow-up appointment with their doctor within a week or two of the procedure. During the recovery process, the overseeing medical professional may use intermittent imaging tests to make sure the bones are healing properly. Pain and swelling are to be expected after surgery, and your doctor may prescribe medication to help. Over-the-counter pain medications can also be used to treat pain, discomfort, and swelling. To further minimize swelling, its important to keep the injury elevated following surgery. Ideally, the hand should be kept higher than the heart, meaning the patient may need to prop it up while seated or lying down. Ice packs may also be used to help with pain and swelling. When using this method, a towel should be kept between the ice packs and the skin, to prevent direct contact and reduce the risk of frostbite. Additional procedures may be required to remove hardware used to hold the bones in place during the healing process.
Broken hand recovery time will be different for every injury and every patient. With proper treatment, broken fingers will typically heal within a few weeks and broken hands within one to two months, although it may take several months to make a complete recovery from a severely broken hand.
Diagnosis And Treatment: How Dr Knight Can Help
A physical examination from the doctor, combined with a detailed medical history, may be enough to diagnose the injury; however, an x-ray is deemed the gold standard to identify a fracture. That said, some smaller breaks e.g., a scaphoid fracture may take up to two weeks to appear on an x-ray, complicating diagnosis in the emergency room or urgent care immediately after the injury. In these cases, an MRI or CT scan, which elucidate damage to the soft tissues of the joint, can improve diagnosis.
Treatment for wrist sprains and fractures may be non-surgical or surgical. Immobilization with a splint or cast is common for milder fractures, while various surgical techniques such as the use of pins to fix fractured bone segments together may be needed for complex or severe breaks.
Wrist sprains seldom require surgery, but they can be tricky and often cause much more damage than is apparent. The use of , compression, and splinting can go a long way for milder sprains, but a full tear of a ligament will require surgical repair.
It is important for both injuries to be treated as soon and as comprehensively as possible to avoid any lasting, chronic pain or malformation of the joint. Dr. Knight is one of the premier national wrist specialists with extensive experience in non-surgical and surgical treatment of the wrist. For a deep dive on the treatments offered by Dr. Knight for each injury, see the wrist sprain, wrist fracture, and scaphoid fracture pages.
Hand Fracture Treatments: How To Treat A Broken Hand
There are many broken hand treatment options to address broken fingers, broken metacarpals, and other hand injuries. Fortunately, many hand fractures will not require surgical intervention, although splints, braces, straps, and the classic buddy system may be used to immobilize the affected bones. In some instances, patients may need to wear larger casts to immobilize the entire hand or wrist. These splints and casts hold the bones in place, allowing the area to heal, while also minimizing the risk of reinjury during the recovery process. In the event of misalignment, the overseeing medical professional may need to manually reposition the finger before utilizing a splint or cast. These noninvasive treatments are viable for most situations, but in the case of more severe injuries, your doctor may recommend surgical intervention for optimal results and recovery.
What If Its Just A Sprain
Oftentimes a fractured wrist can be misidentified as a mild or severe wrist sprain. Before rushing to the emergency room, be sure to understand the difference and educate yourself on what to do when you do suffer from a sprained wrist. Youll find that both a sprained wrist and a fractured wrist are very common and have similar symptoms, so its sometimes difficult to determine which is which.
If, after you slip or fall and injure your wrist, everything is still straight and only slightly swollen, it might be a sprain. Another way you can tell if your wrist is sprained is to consider how much pain youre in and how quickly the pain subsides.
There are a large number of bones in your hand so sometimes its difficult to tell if your mild or severe sprain could actually be a fracture. While an x-ray is expensive and time-consuming, its sometimes the only way to truly determine whether youre dealing with a sprain or a fracture. It also helps alleviate some stress on your end to have an answer to your pain.
How Long Will It Take To Recover
Recovery time for a fractured wrist will vary from situation to situation. Factors such as whether or not the fracture is displaced or stabilized, your age and health, and the presence of other injuries all come into consideration when trying to estimate how long it will take to recover from a wrist fracture.
Typically, a splint will be used for the first few days until the swelling goes down. About a week later, a cast will then be applied.
A cast might be needed for six to eight weeks, and sometimes even longer depending on the severity of the break. More severe breaks may take as long as six months to fully heal.
Discomfort or pain may continue for months or even years after your injury. Returning to work or regular activity too soon can aggravate your injury and prolong the healing process further. A second cast may be applied should the first one become loose over time as well.
Besides a splint or cast, fractures can also be fixed surgically via screws, pins, plates and other devices that hold the bone in place so that it can properly heal. Therefore, it can take months of x-rays and doctors checkups before you can be sure your wrist is back to normal.
As you recover, it is crucial for you to keep your fingers active so that they wont get stiff. Hand therapy is a great option in terms of maintaining function and strength in your fingers.
Common Wrist Fractures And Sprains
A fracture is the medical term for a broken bone. The most common type of wrist fracture is a distal radius fracture, which is a fracture at the end of the long radius bone of the forearm.
Sprains occur when ligamentsthe fibrous bands of tissue that connect bones to each otherare stretched or torn. Wrist sprains are frequently caused by injury of the scapholunate ligament, which is a very important ligament that connects the scaphoid and the lunate carpal bones.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Wrist Fracture
A wrist fracture is essentially the same thing as a broken wrist, and lets face it, if you break your wrist, its probably going to result in plenty of pain. Depending on the severity of the break, various treatments may be recommended, but how do you know if its a fracture and not just a sprain?
Fastmed Professionals Can Tell If Your Wrist Is Broken
It is important to have your broken wrist attended to as soon as possible.Fortunately, the medical professionals at FastMed Urgent Care are ready and able to examine your broken wrist, reset the bone if necessary, and secure it in a splint. Even on the weekends or after typical business hours, we can treat your broken wrist.
We are open 365 days a year and have extended weekday hours for your convenience. Our state-of-the-art facilities are equipped with digital X-ray machines so that your evaluation and treatment can be handled in one stop.
Contact us or simply walk in at one of our locations for your broken wrist treatment. Also check out what some of our patients are saying:
The urgent care center was terrific! The staff delivered exactly what I needed: professional care and personal attention and they delivered it with care and kindness. Urgent Care is on my radar as an integral part of my community and I have given several enthusiastic recommendations to friends and work associates. Thank you! Gayle C.
What Is The Treatment For A Distal Radius Fracture
Decisions on how to treat a distal radius fracture may depend on many factors, including:
- Fracture displacement
- Joint involvement
- Associated ulna fracture and injury to the median nerve
- Whether it is the dominant hand
- Your occupation and activity level
In any case, the immediate fracture treatment is the application of a splint for comfort and pain control. If the fracture is displaced, it is reduced before it is placed in a splint. Fracture reduction is performed under local anesthesia, which means only the painful area is numbed.
What Are The Types Of Orthopedic Treatments
Upon consultation with your hospital, a patient must expect several treatments according to how the body was damaged. An emergency needs professional medical help rather than just relying on home remedies. It is vital to call the emergency hotline to immediately ask for medical assistance from a clinic or a hospital to stop bleeding and infection.
Braces For A Broken Wrist
After your cast or splint has been removed, you may want to further support your wrist as it continues to heal. Fractured wrist braces can be very useful in reducing possible further damage or pain to a recovering wrist. Depending on your needs there are different types of brace available. For example, they can come in low, medium or high levels of support, ranging from light sprains that need compression to more serious breaks that still require further immobilisation and support. Some of these include:
- Sturdy wrist straps that fully immobilise the thumb and wrist
- Less restrictive supports that allow some movement to the wrist but protect certain wrist bones
- Adjustable wrist straps that can support you while you play sports
- There is also a softer strap that provides compression and support to the wrist and thumb, but still allows the full range of movement.
Different straps can be made of different material, for example neoprene or cloth. Make sure that the material sufficiently supports your wrist according to what you need, and is not too loose, soft or hard. It is important that you get the right brace for your level of recovery and ensure that you are not putting any unnecessary strain on your broken wrist.
Signs Of A Broken Wrist
While you will have pain in your wrist regardless of if its broken or sprained, you will have significantly more pain if you break your wrist.
Some of the signs of a broken wrist include:
- Tenderness to touch
You might also experience tingling in your fingers.
Another sign to consider is if you are completely unable to move your wrist either because you have so much pain or because of the swelling.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Broken Arm Or Wrist
In most cases it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a broken arm or wrist. It can take longer if your arm or wrist was severely damaged.
You will need to wear your plaster cast until the broken bone heals. The skin under the cast may be itchy for a few days but this should pass.
The hospital will give you an advice sheet on exercises you should do every day to help speed up your recovery.
Your arm or wrist may be stiff and weak after the cast is removed. A physiotherapist can help with these problems, although sometimes they can last several months or more.
How Is A Broken Wrist Treated
Treatment of a broken wrist aims to put the broken bones back together so that the bone can heal properly and you get normal movement of your wrist back. The treatment you receive depends on how bad the break is. Other factors that affect your treatment include:
- the type of fracture
- whether the bones have moved or been displaced
- whether the bones break through your skin
- the number of bone fragments from the fracture
- your job or usual activities.
If you have a minor fracture, you will usually be treated with a cast or splint to hold your bones together and support your wrist while it heals. If you have a more serious fracture, your doctor will try to realign the bones together, either manually using hands or through surgery to insert pins, plates or screws to hold your bones in place.In both cases you will be given painkillers and be advised on the care following treatment. This may involve physiotherapy or hand therapy.
How Long Will Wrist Surgery Recovery Take
Like with any type of injury, wrist surgery recovery time will vary depending on the type of injury, the type of surgery, and the general health of the individual before the operation. For most people, wrist surgery recovery times range from a few weeks to several months. The bone itself may heal within a month or two, but fully recovering from the surgery or the injury can take 4 to 6 months.1 Consult with your doctor to get a more specific recovery timetable for yourself.
As a guide, here are some general wrist surgery recovery times:
Do I Have A Broken Or Sprained Wrist
How does a broken or sprained wrist happen? Rushing around, trying to do too many things at once, we have tripped and fallen. Usually its fine. We brush ourselves off and keep going. However, the first thing we usually do when we fall is try to catch ourselves by putting our hands out. Our wrists are not meant to take that kind of impact, though, and often the force of a fall can cause damage to wrists.
Wrist pain caused by a fall might be serious or it might not. How do we know if we have a broken or sprained wrist? Sometimes it is hard to tell.
In todays post, I would like to discuss wrist fractures by clarifying what a wrist fracture is, how to differentiate between a fracture and a sprain, and explain how they are treated.
Are You Experiencing A Broken Wrist
Although a wrist injury at face value seems like it would be a traumatic event, some people dont immediately realize a break has occurred. Over the following hours and days, these symptoms may appear:
- Difficulty using your wrist and hand
- Extreme pain when flexing or using your wrist
- Reduced ability to grip things
- An obvious change in the appearance of your wrist area
Surgical And Other Procedures
You might need surgery to implant pins, plates, rods or screws to hold your bones in place while they heal. A bone graft might be used to help healing. These options might be necessary if you have:
- An open fracture
- A fracture in which the bone pieces move before they heal
- Loose bone fragments that could enter a joint
- Damage to the surrounding ligaments, nerves or blood vessels
- Fractures that extend into a joint
Even after reduction and immobilization with a cast or splint, your bones can shift. So your doctor likely will monitor your progress with X-rays. If your bones move, you might then need surgery.
In some cases, the surgeon will immobilize your fracture by using an external fixation device. This consists of a metal frame with two or more pins that go through your skin and into the bone on both sides of the fracture.
How Broken Wrists Heal On Their Own
If your wrist has an uncomplicated break, such as at the end of the radius, it may heal on its own. You just need time and to immobilize your wrist to allow it to heal.
In these cases, the ER doctor typically resets your broken bone, which can be quite painful. You will likely receive painkillers before they reset the bone.
Some of the treatments we use for a broken wrist include:
- Wearing a plaster cast or splint for about 6 to 8 weeks
- Wearing a splint to hold your wrist in place
- Having regular X-rays to make sure its healing properly
Once your bone sufficiently heals, you may need additional physical therapy to regain your range of motion and restore the former strength in your wrist. Physical therapy generally lasts about six weeks after the bone heals. Although it can initially be uncomfortable, physical therapy provides lasting pain relief.
Recovery When You Dont Need Surgery
To treat pain, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain medicines. Using an ice pack and keeping your wrist raised above the level of your heart as much as possible should help reduce pain and swelling, too.
After several days, your doctor may replace your splint with a cast. Keep the cast dry unless it is waterproof. Your doctor will take X-rays every few weeks to see how your fracture is healing. While you still have the cast on, you may start movement exercises for your fingers, elbow and shoulder. These are called range-of-motion exercises. Your doctor may remove your cast after about six weeks.
Once you no longer have a cast or split, you may start range-of-motion exercises for your wrist. The goal is to prevent stiffness. When your wrist is less stiff and painful, you will add exercises to make your wrist stronger. may continue for about five weeks.
You should be able to return to most activities in 1 to 2 months. You should be able to return to all activities, including work or sports, in 3 to 6 months. It may take up to two years for wrist stiffness to go away.
Treatment For A Broken Arm Or Wrist
When you get to hospital the affected arm will be placed in a splint to support it and stop any broken bones from moving out of position.
You will also be given painkilling medicines for the pain.
An X-ray is then used to see if there is a break and how bad that break is.
A plaster cast can be used to keep your arm in place until it heals sometimes this may be done a few days later, to allow any swelling to go down first. You may be given a sling to support your arm.
A doctor may try to fit the broken bones back into place with their hands before applying a splint or cast you will be given medicine before this happens so you will not feel any pain. If you had a very bad break surgery may be carried out to fix broken bones back into place.
Before leaving hospital, you’ll be given painkillers to take home and advice on how to look after your cast.
You’ll be asked to attend follow-up appointments to check how your arm or wrist is healing.
Signs Of A Wrist Fracture
The wrist is a part of the body that is injured frequently, and these injuries may result in pain, a sprained wrist or even a wrist fracture. A wrist fracture is a medical term for a broken wrist, which means youve broken one or more of the many bones in your wrist. There are eight wrist bones which are connected to the forearm bones called the radius and the ulna. The radius is the most common bone to break in the wrist. This injury typically happens from falling on an outstretched hand, but it can also result from traumatic events such as a car accident.
Wrist fractures can range in severity. You may have a non-displaced break, which means the bones did not move out of place. Or, your break may be displaced in which the bones need to be put back into place. In some fractures, the bone can shatter into multiple pieces . Some patients have also suffered from an open fracture, which is when a fragment of bone is forced out through the skin.
Sometimes, its not always clear if youre suffering from an actual wrist fracture. Here are five signs that you may have broken your wrist:
Symptoms Of Broken & Sprained Wrists
Usually in that case, if the pain subsides over the next few days, it’s typically considered a wrist fracture. But if the pain is not getting better and persists and the swelling gets worse, difficult use to the hand, etc., many times an X-ray is warranted to determine if it is a wrist fracture or not.