Wednesday, December 1, 2021

How To Tell If Your Wrist Is Broken

Don't Miss

How Long Will It Take To Recover

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

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.

You May Like: What Kind Of Doctor Do You See For Sciatica Pain

What Is A Wrist Fracture

The wrist joint connects the hand to the forearm. A wrist fracture can mean that a person has broken one of the small bones in this joint or, more commonly, the distal radius, which is the larger of the two bones that make up the forearm. This bone most often breaks at the lower end, near where it connects to the bones of the hand and thumb.

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. Lets take a look

Recommended Reading: Can Neck Pain Cause Fever

How To Tell If Your Wrist Is Sprained

This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 81% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 264,360 times.

Wrist sprains are relatively common injuries, especially among athletes. A sprain occurs when the ligaments in the wrist are stretched too far and potentially tear, either partially or completely. A sprained wrist causes pain, inflammation, and sometimes bruising, depending on the severity of the injury .XResearch source Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between a badly sprained wrist and a bone fracture, so being well-informed should help you make the distinction. However, if you suspect a fracture for any reason, make an appointment with your doctor and get medical treatment.

Treatment For A Broken Hand

The Best Way to Heal your Broken Wrist

The first thing your doctor will take into consideration is bone alignment. Gaps in between bones can be problematic and cause long term issues. As a result, your doctor will move the bones into place.

Your pain tolerance will dictate whether or not you need local anesthetics throughout this process.

Once the bones have been set, your doctor will need to ensure your hand is immobile. This is crucial for the bones to heal.

Also Check: Does Ginger Ale Help Stomach Pain

What Is A Wrist Sprain

Ligaments are bands of elastic tissue that connect bones together at the joints. They provide stability and limit joint movement. When you sprain your wrist, these ligaments stretch beyond their limit on some occasions, they may even tear. The sprain could range from mild to severe, depending on the location and intensity of the injury. In fact, there are three different types of wrist sprains:

  • Grade 1 wrist sprains: These are injuries where the sprain only caused the ligaments to stretch. Theres pain, but you can still move your joint.
  • Grade 2 wrist sprains: When this type of injury occurs, the ligaments are partially torn which causes a diminished function of the joint.
  • Grade 3 wrist sprains: This is when the ligament is completely torn or detached from the bone. When this occurs, youll need surgical intervention to fix it.
  • 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 areas 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.

    Also Check: Ginger Ale For Gas

    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.

    What Is The Treatment For A Dislocated Wrist

    Broken Wrist – Surgery – Fractured Scaphoid

    Surgery may be required to treat a dislocated wrist. Gymnasts may experience dislocated wrists. Soaking a wrist in ice water can help with pain. Treatment for a dislocated wrist includes a doctor working to get the bones back into alignment as soon as possible. Wrist pain may be a sign of a dislocated wrist.

    Recommended Reading: Wrist Sprain Vs Break

    How Can I Care For Myself With A Broken Wrist

    There are several self-care measures that you can do to help the recovery of your broken wrist. These include:

    • taking regular pain killers if you have any pain
    • keeping your arm elevated on a pillow or with a sling in the first week, but after that start to let your arm be part of your everyday life again
    • doing gentle exercises as advised by your health providers
    • avoiding heavy lifting or activities that require your wrist to work hard
    • positioning your arm with your thumb up rather than letting your arm rest with the palm down all the time as this will help lessen stiffness later
    • keeping your cast dry

    Read more about care of your broken wrist while in a cast.

    After your cast is removed, you may find your wrist is stiff, your skin dry or your hand swollen. It may take 4 months to 1 year to regain full use of your hand and wrist. Your recovery will be helped by using your hand as normally as possible for everyday activities and by doing any exercises your doctor recommends.Read more about caring for your wrist following removal of your cast.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Running Broken Wrist

    Read Also: Can Blueberries Cause Diarrhea

    What Is A Broken Wrist

    Your wrist joint is where the 2 long bones in your forearm meet the 8 small bones at the base of your hand. A break in any of these bones can be considered a broken wrist. But doctors usually say “broken wrist” when you’ve:

    • Broken one or both of the 2 bones of your forearm

    This kind of broken wrist is a very common injury. Breaks in the small wrist bones are less common.

    • A broken wrist is more common in older people

    • The bones are usually pushed out of place and need to be set

    • Usually you’ll just need a cast, but sometimes doctors do surgery

    See a doctor right away if you think you have a broken wrist.

    Dont Ignore Wrist Injuries

    Is My Wrist Broken or Sprained?

    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.

    You May Like: Does Chamomile Tea Help With Stomach Pain

    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:
    • go to the nearest emergency department or call 111 if it is broken badly
    • contact your GP if it is a minor break
    • stop using or avoid moving the injured arm as much as possible
    • apply pressure to stop bleeding using a clean pad or dressing if there is any bleeding
    • ice the injured area using an ice pack wrapped in a clean towel
    • avoid eating and drinking in case you need surgery to fix the broken bone.

    How To Prevent A Broken Or Sprained Wrist

    My best advice–try not to fall! This may seem common sense, but many times the cause is preventable. Loose rugs, items on the floor, unsafe ladder use, all are preventable common causes of falls. As much as we love our pets, we must also be careful with them around our feet as well.

    Second to that, there are a few things you can do to prevent a wrist injury should you fall.

    • Be proactive and build bone strength with a diet containing sufficient calcium and vitamin D and doing weight-bearing exercises
    • Wear protective gear for sports activities, especially skateboarding and rollerblading
    • Take care when walking on slippery or bumpy surfaces

    Don’t Miss: Fake Broken Arm Cast

    Other Causes Of Wrist Pain

    Several types of injuries other than breaks and fractures can cause wrist pain. Sprains to the wrist are often mistaken for a fracture but are an injury to a ligament, not to the wrists bones. Another common cause of wrist pain is Carpal Tunnel, a cumulative disorder of the wrist involving the compression of the nerves that pass through a tunnel at the wrist. All of these afflictions require medical treatment and potentially surgery or physical therapy, which is why it is crucial to seek a doctor if youre experiencing any pain in your joints or bones.

    What Is The Healing Time For A Wrist Fracture

    Scaphoid Fracture: Wrist Examination

    It might take eight weeks or longer for your wrist to heal. More severe breaks may not fully mend for six months. You and your doctor will decide when you are fully recovered. Dont rush back into your activity too soon. If you start working out before your wrist is healed, you could cause more serious damage.

    Recommended Reading: Sprained My Wrist

    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.

    With external fixation, a metal frame outside your body immobilizes the fracture with two or more pins that pass through your skin and into the bone on either side of the fracture.

    What Is The Treatment For A Distal Radius Fracture

    • Fracture displacement
    • 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.

    You May Like: How Do You Tell If Your Wrist Is Broken

    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.

    Common Causes Of A Wrist Fracture

    What To Do When You Sprained Your Wrist?

    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
    • Osteoporosis

    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.

    Read Also: How Do You Tell If Your Wrist Is Broken

    More articles

    Popular Articles