Saturday, October 23, 2021

How To Tell A Broken Wrist From A Sprain

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Broken Hand Rehab Broken Hand Physical Therapy Exercises

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

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 patients 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!

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.

How To Heal A Sprained Wrist

It is possible for mild wrist sprains to be self-treated at home. The recommendation for sprained wrist treatment is rest, ice, compression, and elevation . Aspirin or ibuprofen can also help minimize swelling. If swelling doesnt go down in 48 hours or the sprain doesnt resolve in two to three days, you should call your hand and wrist specialist.;

  • Rest: Avoid using the wrist for at least two days.;;
  • Ice: Ice the injury right away and continue applying ice a few times a day for 20 minutes each time.;
  • Compression: A compression bandage is how to wrap a sprained wrist. It can be used to minimize swelling and provide wrist support.;
  • Elevation: Elevate your wrist above your heart.;;

Medical treatment is recommended for moderate and severe sprains. Splints are typically used for moderate sprains. Severe sprains may need surgery in order to connect the ligament to the bone or to reconstruct the ligament.;;

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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 To Do When A Wrist Injury Occurs

Wrist Fracture, Treatments Best Ways to Heal Fast

Immediate treatment for an injured wrist should involve the following steps:

  • Immobilize the wrist using a splint or brace.
  • Elevate the wrist above the level of the heart.
  • Use ice therapy on the injured area for 10 to 15 minutes every hour. Regular icing can significantly ease swelling and pain.

Immobilzing, elevating, and icing can help to treat a wrist injury immediately after it occurs.

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How Does A Wrist Fracture Happen

Virtually anyone can take a tumble and end up with a broken wrist, says Dr. Swigart, but the majority of the people she sees with the problem fall into one of two categories.

The first group is elderly men and women who are vulnerable to wrist fracture because of low bone density. Because their bones are fragile, It doesnt take much of a fall to break the wrist, Dr. Swigart says.

Patients in the second group, she says, tend to be younger and more active, with fractured wrists resulting from what Dr. Swigart calls higher energy mechanisms, such as a skiing mishap or getting hit while playing contact sports. The breaks those patients sustain tend to involve the wrist joint and are often more severe, Dr. Swigart says.

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 .

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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.;;

I Hurt My Hand Playing Sports How Do I Know If Its Broken Sprained Or Bruised

How to tell the difference between a Wrist Sprain and a Fracture

While sports are fun, there are also plenty of opportunities for injury. When an injury occurs to the hand or wrist while playing sports, it may be important to have a hand specialist evaluate it. Appropriate treatment will provide the best chance for healing properly, allowing you to return to playing the games you love. A hand surgeon will be able to diagnose whether the hand, finger or wrist is broken, sprained or bruised and whether you need specialized treatment.

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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:;

  • Swelling
  • 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.;

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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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.

When To Seek Medical Care

Broken or Sprained Wrist

If you have severe pain, deformity, numbness, or are unable to move your wrist, you should call your doctor for an immediate appointment, go to an urgent care clinic, or go to a hospital’s emergency department.

If there is no deformity and the pain is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication, you may want to wait 12-24 hours before deciding whether to call the doctor. If symptoms persist after a day, see a doctor.

If you have obvious deformity, numbness, or severe pain, you need medical attention.

  • If there is obvious deformity or severe swelling, there may be a broken bone that needs to be moved back into its normal position.
  • There also can be a dislocation where the bones are no longer in the correct position, although they are not broken.

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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 youve hurt your wrist, heres how to tell if its 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:

  • Swelling

  • Tenderness

  • Pain

Although its easy to assume these symptoms are worse with a fractured wrist, thats 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, its 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

  • Stabilize

  • Elevate

  • Contact Team Joseph About Your Wrist Pain

    When In Doubt Get The Injury Checked Out

    Whenit comes to sprains, kids arent adults in miniature. While some adults cantough it out, Dr. Star advises against using that approach with children.

    Kids can injure something called thegrowth plate. That can affect how they grow over time. So parents should treattheir childrens potential sprains more rigorously than they would their own,says Dr. Star. Any child whos still growing should be evaluated to make surethey dont have a fracture. And the only way to rule one out is to get anX-ray.

    Dr.Star also emphasizes the need to see a doctor if a significant cut or otherwound accompanies the injury. The wound may need to beaddressed separately. It also may need to be treated more aggressively withantibiotics and cleaning.

    What type of doctor should you see? Any doctor that can provide a basic evaluation and take an X-ray. Medical facilities that provide these services include:

    • Primary care or pediatrician offices.
    • Urgent care centers.

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    Is My Wrist Broken Or Sprained

    It is a natural instinct to put out a hand and to try to catch oneself during a fall. This impulse is the cause for nearly all wrist sprains and fractures. Medical professionals even have an acronym for this mechanism of injury: FOOSH stands for fall on outstretched hand.

    When a wrist injury occurs, it can be difficult to determine what type of injury has occurred. Most frequently, the resulting wrist injury is either a sprain or fracture.

    When Will I Feel Better After A Wrist Sprain

    Suspected Scaphoid Fracture or Wrist Sprain

    Recovery time depends on how serious your wrist sprain is. These injuries may take from two to 10 weeks to heal. But that’s a rough estimate. Everyone heals at a different rate, but generally, time to heal depends on the grade of sprain and proper management.;Grade1 typically takes 2-4 weeks as opposed to grade 3 which may take as long as 3-6 months.;

    While you heal, you might want to take up a new activity that won’t irritate your wrist. For instance, skiers could put down their poles and try jogging or stationary biking.

    Whatever you do, don’t rush things. Do not try to return to your old level of physical activity until:

    • You feel no pain in your wrist when it’s at rest
    • You can work out and grip and move objects — like a ski pole, bat, or racket — without pain
    • Your injured wrist, as well as the hand and arm on that side, feel as strong as the uninjured wrist, hand, and arm.

    If you start using your wrist before it’s healed, you could cause permanent damage.

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    When Should I See A Doctor

    If you are in excruciating pain, suspect a fracture, have significant numbness and tingling, or the wrist is clearly deformed, seek medical attention immediately at an urgent care or emergency department.

    However, if pain and swelling are milder characteristic of a low-grade wrist sprain the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends trying rest, ice, compression, elevation, and pain medication. If symptoms persist for more than two days, a doctor should be seen.

    In general, the complexity and delicacy of the wrist make home treatment without the aid of a medical professional unadvisable. Particularly in the case of a wrist fracture where blood flow to the joint can be cut off, causing bones to die and necessitating an implant medical attention is required.

    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.

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    Dont Ignore Wrist Injuries

    Wrist fractures, like essentially all broken bones are best treated when treated early.; This may be as simple and putting a brace on, which will immobilize and protect the bone easing the pain and preventing displacement.

    Some fractures, like the scaphoid fracture, have poor outcomes when treated late.; Due to its unique blood supply, scaphoid fractures have higher risk of non-healing or nonunion than other wrist bones.; When this bone does not heal, it will, overtime, develop a predictable pattern of wrist arthritis.

    How Can I Prevent A Wrist Sprain

    Is My Wrist Broken or Sprained?

    Wrist sprains are hard to prevent, since they’re usually caused by accidents. Even the best-trained athlete can slip. But always make an effort to exercise safely.

    Some athletes benefit from using wrist guards or tape. These may prevent the wrist from bending backward during a fall.

    SOURCES:American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons web site: “Wrist Sprains.” Davis, M.F., et al, Expert Guide to Sports Medicine, American College of Physicians Press, 2005. Rouzier, P., The Sports Medicine Patient Advisor, second edition, SportsMed Press, 2004.


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