How To Tell If Your Hand Is Broken Broken Hand Finger And Wrist Symptoms And Treatment
According to recent estimates published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research, approximately one-quarter of all sports injuries involve the hands or wrists. Hand fractures and broken fingers are currently on the rise due to increased athletic competition around the country, but these kinds of injuries are also common off the playing field, especially for older adults. As part of the natural aging process, our bones weaken over time, leaving us more vulnerable to fractures and other injuries. Regardless of the cause, there are many effective broken hand treatments and strategies to help expedite the recovery process and prevent reinjury. In this post, we will explain many common broken hand symptoms and what to do for a broken hand, including physical therapy and surgical options. Let’s take a look…
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.
How To Tell The Difference Between A Wrist Sprain And A Wrist Fracture
This article was co-authored by Diana Lee, MD. Dr. Diana Lee is a Family Medicine Physician in California. She received her MD from Georgetown University in 2015. Most recently, she completed an Ophthalmic Pathology fellowship at Jules Stein Eye Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests are diverse and include: cataract surgery, dry eye, thyroid eye disease, retinoblastoma and diabetic retinopathy.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 83% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 272,621 times.
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. “It’s 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 Medicine’s 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.”
Whats The Difference Between A Wrist Fracture Vs Broken Bone
When you hear the words fractured bone or broken bone what you’re really hearing are different terms with the same meaning. A fractured bone and a broken bone are the same. A fracture is a technical terminology a physician uses to describe an injury to the bone, while a broken bone is a common layperson way of describing an injury to a bone.
Some think of a fracture as less severe than a broken bone, but technically that’s not the case. Physicians use words like displaced, malaligned, or angulated to describe a fracture that’s not in its normal position. At the end of the day, a fractured bone and a broken bone are one and the same and can be used interchangeably.
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.
Broken Hand Symptoms: How Do I Know If I Have A Broken Hand
Approximately 6 million people suffer a broken bone every year in the United States, and broken fingers are very common. The location and severity of the hand fracture will determine the symptoms the patient experiences and the available treatment options. So what does a broken hand feel like? Let’s take a look at a few of the most common broken hand symptoms.
Fractured hand symptoms involving the metacarpals include pain, swelling, general tenderness along the site of the injury, and bruising. These metacarpal fractures symptoms may be more pronounced as the patient makes a fist or even loosely grips items. Metacarpal fractures may also give the involved fingers a shortened appearance. For example, Boxer’s fracture symptoms may include the knuckle appearing indented or crushed inward due to displacement along the neck of the metacarpal. Broken finger symptoms include pain, decreased range of motion, swelling, and sensitivity to even the lightest touch. Fractured finger symptoms may also include bruising, and it’s possible for the finger to appear deformed or misaligned. Broken thumb symptoms include swelling, bruising, sensitivity to the touch, and decreased range of motion. Some patients also report numbness or feelings of cold around the injury. In some cases, the hand or fingers may change colors, becoming pale or even blue, after a fracture of the hand. Patients may also notice other tactile sensations, such as tingling.
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 you’re unsure if it’s a break or a sprain. How do you tell the difference?
Here’s 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.
Treating Sprained And Broken Wrists At Fastmed Urgent Care
Come to a FastMed Urgent Care clinic for an X-ray if you suffer a wrist injury. Visiting one of our clinics is typically faster and cheaper than a trip to the emergency room. With on-site X-ray technology, our medical professionals will diagnose your wrist pain and determine the appropriate treatment.
Whether you have a sprained wrist or a broken wrist, don’t delay in getting the treatment you need. FastMed Urgent Care accepts all major insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, so check out our Insurance page to confirm that your plan is accepted.
Our patients have great things to say about the compassionate care they receive at FastMed Urgent Care. Linda S. said, “I rushed in your doors at closing time with my daughter. She had quite a gash that needed medical treatment with multiple stitches. You did an excellent job and her wound and stitches have healed beautifully!”
Broken Hand Rehab Broken Hand Physical Therapy Exercises
Physical therapy may be recommended for some hand injuries to help with the recovery process. Finger and hand physical therapy exercises are used to alleviate pain and discomfort related to stiffness and inflammation, and they can also help patients restore strength lost as a result of extended immobilization. The overseeing physical therapist will first gauge a patient’s range of motion and overall functionality before establishing a comprehensive regimen of hand physical therapy exercises. Once the patient has demonstrated proficiency, these broken hand physical therapy exercises should be performed at home daily for optimal results. Hand therapy putty and common everyday household items such as towels and cups may be used to help with strength training exercises. Stretching exercises will also be incorporated to increase the range of motion.
Remember, we update our Sports Medicine Oregon blog monthly, so be sure to tune in often to stay up to date on the latest sports medicine news and views!
Wrist Sprain Or Broken Wrist: How To Tell The Difference
Injuring your wrist can be as easy as trying to stop your fall with an outstretched hand. But how bad is your wrist injury? Did you simply sprain the wrist or do you have something more serious, like a wrist fracture?
A broken wrist is just as common as a sprained one. Both these injuries are caused by similar mechanisms. So, if you’ve hurt your wrist, here’s how to tell if it’s broken or not.
Symptoms of a Sprained Wrist vs. a Wrist Fracture
Unfortunately, the symptoms of a broken wrist and a sprained wrist are relatively similar. These symptoms include:
Although it’s easy to assume these symptoms are worse with a fractured wrist, that’s not always the case. For example, a broken wrist can cause dull or mild pain while pain from a wrist sprain is often more severe.
There is one unique symptom of a broken wrist, and that is deformity. If the wrist appears bent or twisted out of shape or out of place, it’s broken. A wrist fracture is also accompanied by a constant dull ache that is unrelenting whereas pain from a wrist sprain is intermittent with movement.
Because symptoms of wrist sprains and wrist fractures are so similar, an x-ray can be the only way to tell the extent of the wrist injury. Your orthopedic physician will examine the x-ray to make sure none of the bones in the wrist are broken and suggest a proper choice of treatment.
Treating an Injured Wrist
Contact Team Joseph About Your Wrist Pain
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.
Wrist Sprains Vs Fractures: How To Tell The Difference
Breaks & Fractures
May 19, 2020
May 2020 Update: In the midst of the current COVID-19 crisis, we know that people continue to need immediate medical attention for unrelated injuries and illnesses. As your neighborhood emergency room, we want you to know that your safety and well-being are top priorities for us. Armed with the area’s best emergency room physicians, we are open 24/7 for all of your emergency medical needs. We recognize the apprehension that many people have when visiting an emergency room for care. We want to assure you that we are taking all precautions to protect our patients and our staff. We have implemented strict protocols surrounding the use of protective equipment, cleaning, and sanitizing. Our wait times, as always, are minimized to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
When you’re injured, pain can be unbearable. The discomfort could cause even simple tasks — such as walking or brushing your teeth — to require monumental efforts. You may wonder if it will get better if you just wait it out. But, what if it’s something more serious, such as a sprain or a fracture? What are the symptoms of each? And, how can you best treat them?
Anatomy Of The Hand: Different Types Of Hand Fractures
With 27 bones and 28 muscles, the human hand is certainly nimble, but it is also highly susceptible to injury, especially acute injuries as a result of direct trauma. Along with the ends of the forearm’s radius and ulna, the skeletal structure of the wrist is composed of eight small carpal bones. Beyond these, the palm of the hand is made up of five total metacarpal bones. Each of these is labeled numerically, one through five, with the first metacarpal controlling the thumb. The “neck” of each metacarpal bone is the thinnest part just behind the knuckle, whereas the “base” of each bone is the end situated closest to the wrist. Beyond the metacarpals, each finger has three phalanges, while the thumb has two. One of the most common types of hand fractures, commonly known as Boxer’s Fracture, is a break in the neck of the fifth metacarpal — the one controlling the pinky. As the name suggests, a Boxer’s fracture is often the result of a closed fist striking a hard object, or otherwise sustaining direct trauma during a collision. Fractures to the scaphoid bone are also common, especially during college football and other athletics.
Treatment And Healing For Wrist Pain Or Strained Wrist
Treatment options for sprains and fractures can be as simple as ice, rest, and immobility using a brace and may take just a few weeks to heal, or as severe as needing surgery to put in plates and screws to realign the fracture, which may take many months to heal.
It is not often that a sprain requires surgery, but sometimes it is necessary.
In summary, only a skilled physician can determine the proper diagnosis of a wrist fracture vs a wrist sprain. Both injuries may need further medical attention, and it is important to get these injuries evaluated properly.
The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute offers the area’s top Wrist & Hand Specialists. If you hurt your wrist, we can help. JOI is keeping you safe during COVID-19. To learn more, go to JOI4U.
If you need to schedule an appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Hand and Wrist Specialist, please call JOI-2000, schedule online, or click below.
How To Tell The Difference When Your Wrist Is Injured
Before your appointment, you may be able to distinguish between a broken wrist and a wrist sprain in the following ways:
- Range of motion.Gently attempt to rotate your wrist. In a wrist sprain, you may be able to experience the entire range of motion .
- Characterize the pain.The severity and intensity of pain depends on the injury. Generally, however, a broken wrist is described as an intense, sharp, stabbing pain. In contrast, a moderate to severe wrist sprain may be more of a throbbing pain. This is due to torn or stretched ligaments.
- Assess crookedness.When the bones of the wrist are broken, they cause the joint to look crooked or misaligned. In contrast, a wrist sprain results in swelling but does not typically cause crookedness. In very severe cases, a broken wrist may have bone protruding through the skin.
- X-ray.An X-ray remains the best way to differentiate between wrist fractures and sprains.
The best way to determine whether you’re experiencing a wrist sprain versus a broken wrist is to visit an orthopedic specialist. Our Jacksonville orthopedic surgeons can conduct a thorough assessment to determine the extent of your injury. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.
Part 1 Of 2:identifying Symptoms Of A Sprained Wrist
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.
Broken Hand Treatment Options: Hand Fracture Surgery
Fractures that cannot be properly corrected with the aforementioned treatment strategies will require broken hand surgery. During hand fracture surgery, local or general anesthesia may be used depending on the specific surgery. Broken hand surgery may involve the use of small pins and wires that will hold the fractured bones in place for several weeks. In some instances, metal plates and screws may be utilized to ensure the bones of the hand are properly aligned. If a bone has been shattered, it may be necessary to use a bone graft transplanted from another part of the patient’s body. A bone graft may also be used to treat a bone that has not healed properly after a previous injury.
What Should You Do If You Think Your Wrist Is Broken
If you think you may have a fractured wrist or are just not sure, see a medical professional immediately. Imaging, such as x-rays, can help determine if the wrist is fractured, and if so, how badly and where. If you see a General Practitioner, you may be referred to an Orthopedic specialist, like Celebration orthopedics, to determine severity and treatment options. Not seeking medical treatment should never be an option, as it can lead to long term pain, damage, and loss of movement or dexterity. When in doubt, speak to your doctor.
How Long Does It Take For A Broken Wrist To Recover
Healing time typically depends on the overall health of a person. On average, a broken wrist takes about six weeks to heal properly. Make sure to follow all directions given by your healthcare physician in order to avoid further complications.
Now that you know how to tell if a wrist is broken or sprained, please make sure to get the appropriate medical care. Stop by Village Emergency Centers in Katy, River Oaks, Clear Creek, or Jersey Village for the quality medical care that you deserve.
The Difference Between A Broken Or Sprained Wrist
A sprain involves the ligaments that connect the bones at the joint. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a fracture and a sprain. You should not assume that the degree of pain determines the specific problem.
Although it would seem that a sprain would hurt less than a fracture, this is not always the case. Sprains can often be extremely painful, where fractures may sometimes hurt less. There are also different degrees of sprains from mild to severe.
A broken or sprained wrist may have many of the same symptoms:
- Swelling in your wrist or hand
- Pain, especially when you move your wrist
- Difficulty picking up objects
- Limited range of motion
However, if you’ve fractured your wrist, there are a few symptoms that go beyond sprains. There may be a deformity in the wrist and bone pushing against the skin or sometimes puncturing it. When you fall and hurt your wrists, you might hear a snap or pop and your wrist will usually swell immediately and worsen, even when treated with ice.
The best way to know for certain if your wrist is fractured or sprained is to see a hand surgery specialist. They can do a thorough assessment and diagnose what is causing your pain.
“Many wrist fractures do not require surgery, and can be adequately treated in a cast or brace. “Brandon P. Donnelly, MD
Most Common Types Of Fractures For A Broken Wrist
Most of the time, a fracture of the wrist is very painful with movement and to touch and gets very swollen very fast. The most common type of wrist fracture is a distal radius fracture.
The 2nd most common type of fracture in the wrist is a scaphoid fracture, one of the carpal bones located at the base of the thumb. This fracture is sometimes difficult to see on an x-ray and takes a long time to heal due to the poor blood supply it receives.
If you have tenderness at the base of your thumb that doesn’t seem to go away, it would be wise to seek further evaluation from an orthopedic doctor.
Anatomy of Hand – Sprained Wrist vs Broken
Looking For A Hand Surgeon For Your Wrist Injury
If you have a wrist injury, there’s no need to remain in pain any longer – a hand surgeon really makes all the difference. With the right expertise, diagnosis, and treatment you can get back to doing the things you enjoy quicker.
Don’t spend another minute wondering if a hand surgeon is right for you, make an appointment today by calling 393-4263 or by scheduling online. At your appointment, I, Dr. Vella, will answer any questions you have and help guide you through the treatment of your wrist injury.
Together, we’ll create a tailored approach for your specific needs that gets your wrist healed and most of all, pain-free.
Wrist Sprain Or Break How To Tell And What To Do
We’ve all been there: A trip, slip, or missed step sends us tumbling to the ground, bracing ourselves with our hands and bent wrists. This sort of fall often causes wrist pain – but is it a sprain or a fracture?
An incorrect diagnosis could extend recovery time significantly or lead to surgery that could have been avoided with proper treatment. In the long-term, an improperly treated wrist injury could cause chronic pain, stiffness, and arthritis, making correct diagnosis and comprehensive care all the more important.