Saturday, October 23, 2021

How To Know If Your Wrist Is Fractured Or Broken

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Broken Hand Treatment Options: Hand Fracture Surgery

How can you tell if your wrist is sprained or broken?

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 patients body. A bone graft may also be used to treat a bone that has not healed properly after a previous injury.

Ways To Prevent Injuries

The shock of breaks and fractures will leave you stunned. Once you recover from the initial trauma of breaking a bone, you may want to evaluate ways to prevent future breaks from happening.

If your broken hand is the result of a fall, then keep rooms clutter-free to avoid tripping. Additionally, make sure furniture is set up to give you ample space when moving from room to room.

Ensure area rugs are securely in place with anti-slip rug pads or special adhesives.

For rooms with wires , be sure to keep them off the ground and away from where you walk. Keep lots of lighting in each room to help you navigate and, if possible, wear shoes indoors to protect against slipping.

Make sure tile floors are free of spills, especially bathrooms and kitchens.

Add anti-skid pads to your bathtub, along with bath-grab bars to help keep you from slipping when bathing.

When walking, make sure to wear the appropriate shoes. Shoes that fit poorly can cause you to fall, so look for comfortable walking shoes that provide plenty of support.

What To Expect At Your Appointment

On the day of your appointment, your doctor will ask you to recount how you sustained your injury and asked to explain the type of pain and symptoms you are experiencing.

During your examination your doctor will examine your hand, checking for visible signs of a break and checking your range of motion. They will give you an x-ray to check for a break and to determine the severity of it and where its located.

Once your physician has confirmed whether or not you broke your hand and what bones you have broken, they will be able to come up with a treatment plan.

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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.

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Treatment For A Broken Wrist

Wrist Fracture, Treatments Best Ways to Heal Fast

If you believe youve sprained your wrist, you should treat it with ice, stabilize it with a brace or splint, and keep it elevated. Nevertheless, if youre concerned that you may have fractured it or the pain and swelling intensifies, apply ice, and then see a hand specialist as soon as possible.

Many wrist fractures do not require surgery, and can adequately treated in a cast or brace. Sometimes it does require the bones to be set or put back in alignment. Open surgery is usually reserved for fractures with significant displacement, or recurrent displacement after attempted reduction and immobilization.

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Can You Move Your Wrist With A Hairline Fracture

You can move the wrist with a hairline fracture but it is typically not recommended. It also depends on the location of the fracture and it severity. Immobilization is typically recommended to prevent healing complications. If you have persistent wrist pain that wont go away, you should be evaluated by an orthopedic hand specialist.

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, dont 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!

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What Happens If A Wrist Fracture Is Left Untreated

A scaphoid fracture can lead to wrist osteoarthritis, especially if the fracture is untreated and does not heal correctly. This is called nonunion. Severe cases of this kind of osteoarthritis can lead to an incorrect alignment of wrist bones in what is called scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse .

What Are The Treatment Options For A Broken Wrist

How a wrist fracture is treated

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

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Are You High Risk

You might find yourself being a high risk for a fractured or sprained wrist if youre active in sports, specifically ones like skateboarding or snowboarding. Another high-risk factor is if youve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, a bone disease that is characterized by low bone density.

53 million people in the United States either are already diagnosed with osteoporosis or are at high risk because of their low bone density. Otherwise known as the silent disease, many people do not know they have this disease until a slip or fall happens and they end up with an injury.

Even if you dont find yourself playing sports often, any type of activity that is high in contact increases your chances of experiencing a wrist fracture. Even something as small as jumping on a trampoline can make you more high risk.

Broken Wrist Heres What You Need To Know

A broken wrist can happen to anyone at any age, although aging individuals with thinning bones are most often at risk. Dr John Froelich an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in hand and wrist injuries at Panorama Orthopedics, sees patients for fractures caused by everything from mountain biking and snowboarding to slipping on ice or falling from a ladder. Breaks often occur when people extend a hand backwards or forwards to catch a fall. Theres even an acronym for that FOOSH or falling on an outstretched hand.

An X-ray can usually confirm whether or not your wrist is broken or simply sprained. The most common symptoms of a fracture include severe ongoing pain, swelling near the wrist, tenderness, stiffness, numbness and an inability to move your wrist or thumb. In some cases, the fracture results in an obvious deformity such as a bent wrist. Although there are many different types of fractures, Dr. Froelich says treatment depends upon whether or not the fracture is non-displaced or displaced.

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When To See A Hand Surgeon

If you have any suspicions that you may have a fracture, its best to make an appointment with your hand surgeon within a few days. This is because the best way to know if you have a fracture is by getting an x-ray. While urgent care can x-ray and splint your fracture, they can miss the subtler injuries which may delay care. Youll get all the answers you need by seeing a specialist sooner rather than later to avoid further complications.

Heres how to handle seeing a hand surgeon when you suspect a wrist fracture:

  • If your wrist is deformed, bruising is present, its severely swollen, or if pain prevents you from moving your wrist normally in any direction its time to see a hand surgeon.
  • For milder injuries, call your doctor if your wrist symptoms dont improve within two to three days after your injury.
  • See a hand surgeon immediately if you have numbness or trouble moving your fingers.
  • You need to go to the ER right away if you have an open fracture .

The Difference Between A Broken Or Sprained Wrist

The Arnott Family Blog: Broken 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
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion

However, if youve 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

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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.

First Aid For A Broken Hand

If you think you have a broken hand, see a doctor immediately.

But until you can seek medication attention, there are things you can do to care for your hand. These include the following first aid procedures:

  • Avoid moving your hand. Try your best to immobilize your hand. If a bone has moved out of place, dont attempt to realign it.
  • Apply ice. To reduce pain and swelling, carefully apply an ice pack or cold compress to your injury. Always wrap the ice pack in a clean cloth or towel first.
  • Stop the bleeding.

The goal of broken bone first aid is to limit further injury. It can also help minimize pain and improve your recovery outlook.

If youre bleeding, you likely have an open fracture, meaning a bone is sticking out. In this case, go to the ER right away. Until you can get help, you can stop the bleeding by applying pressure and using a clean cloth or bandage.

Visit a doctor as soon as you think youve broken your hand.

Its especially important to see a doctor if you have:

  • difficulty moving your fingers

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Wrist Sprain Vs Broken Wrist

We use our hands for so much throughout the day that wrist pain can be very debilitating. The most common cause of wrist injuries is falling onto an outstretched hand. This may cause the wrist ligaments or bones to become damaged. Some wrist injuries are classified as wrist sprains while others are considered a broken wrist. Understanding the difference will help you get the correct treatment from your Jacksonville orthopedic specialist. Contact our hand and wrist specialists to take advantage of their specialized knowledge and training in this area.

Hand Fracture Treatments: How To Treat A Broken Hand

Broken Wrist – Surgery – Fractured Scaphoid

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.

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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.

What Should You Do

If you do think you have a wrist sprain or you may have fractured your wrist, you should immediately see a doctor. Schedule an appointment to have a medical professional decide if you will need surgery, an x-ray, or specific treatment options.

If you cant see a doctor immediately, its important to remember the acronym, RICE. That stands for, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. That is what you should be doing for your wrist until you see a medical professional.

Having a broken or sprained wrist can also limit your ability to drive places or see a doctor. If that happens, you can speak with us remotely by contacting us here.

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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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Exceptions To The Rules

Wrist Fractures

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.

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Recovery Time For Distal Radius Fractures

Since there are several types of distal radius fractures and treatment methods, the recovery time can be different for each patient. Our Coastal Orthopedics specialist can work with you to formulate a recovery plan that can help you narrow down a time frame in which youll be able to resume normal activities.

Your recovery plan can encompass pain management suggestions, which help with relieving the pain of your fracture. Well discuss, cast and wound care, since the caster and splinter are instrumental to the healing process.

Promising wrist arthroscopy treatment measures means that more than likely patients can expect a favorable outcome in distal radius fractures. For the best results, be sure to communicate with our orthopedics specialist and adhere to your recovery plan.

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