Treatment For A Broken Wrist
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.
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.
Why Is The Arm Still Crooked
As the bone heals, the body builds up calcium and new bone around the ends of the broken bone. This leaves a lump that goes all the way around the fracture. Its the bodys way of adding strength and stability to the arm after the injury.
Swelling also goes down during healing of the arm fracture, so this makes the underlying bone more prominent, making the bump seem bigger than it really is.
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How Do Children Break Their Wrists
Most wrist fractures are caused by a fall from high up, like from monkey bars or off a bunk bed. However, some breaks happen just from falling from a standing position or off a bike.
Usually the wrist breaks when its bent backwards . The wrist bends back past the point of normal range of motion and the bone cracks or snaps.
Wrist fractures can also occur in sports injuries, gymnastics, car wrecks, trampoline injuries, and general goofing off with parents, siblings, and friends.
Other Signs And Symptoms Of A Childs Broken Wrist
A childs broken wrist can result in their range of motion decreasing, marked by the movement of their wrist being limited in some way.
Gripping or grasping objects may also be difficult or painful for a childs broken wrist. If this symptom persists for longer than one or two days, visit a hand doctor like board certified hand specialist Dr. Rehman, located in the Macomb County area.
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Symptoms Of A Broken Bone:
- Pain. When a child breaks a bone, they will experience pain. This pain is often much greater than the pain caused by other injuries.
- Swelling and bruising. Swelling and bruising around the affected area is another telltale sign of a broken bone.
- Deformity. If your child is hurt and the affected area looks deformed in a way it didnt before, it could be because of a broken bone.
- Loss of mobility. Often, when something breaks, it causes a loss of mobility. If your child breaks their foot, they may not be able to walk on it because of the pain.
Some other injuries could have symptoms similar to these, but if your child experiences some or all of these, then get them to an emergency room as soon as possible. If you suspect its something less severe, urgent care may be a good resource. Many urgent care facilities are equipped with x-ray machines and other equipment that can help identify a broken bone. Even if they did not actually break a bone, it is better to be safe than sorry. Depending on the type and severity of the break, the doctors in the ER may recommend different types of treatment. Make sure you take their recommendations, and follow them as closely as possible in order to ensure your child recovers as soon as possible.
What Are Hand Fractures
Fractures are cracks or breaks in bones. Children and teens may break their finger or thumb bones , their wrist bones or the long bones between their fingers and their wrist .
Most hand fractures happen when:
- A child falls on their hand.
- Their hand gets twisted, bent or smashed.
- The child hits something hard.
- In toddlers, breaks often happen when the tip of their finger gets caught in a door.
- Older children tend to get breaks during sports or other active play.
An injury that breaks a bone may also damage a childs;growth plates;or;soft tissues;that are near the bone or connect to the bone, such as skin,;ligaments;or;tendons. Damage to growth plates or soft tissues may affect the way doctors treat your childs fracture.
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What Are The Kinds Of Broken Bones
Types of bone fractures include:
- Greenstick fracture: a break on one side of the bone only
- Buckle or torus fracture: an outward bend on one side of the bone without breaking the other side
- Avulsion fracture: when a tendon or ligament pulls off of a tiny piece of bone
- Growth plate fracture: a break in the area of a child or teen’s growing bone
- Stress fracture: a tiny crack in the bone
- Comminutedfracture: a bone breaks into more than two pieces
- Compression fracture: a collapsing of the bone
Support For A Wrist Fracture
When you first break your wrist, one of the most important things for your doctor to do is immobilise the joint. Immobilisation helps to prevent the broken bones from moving out of place, which could otherwise prevent correct healing, or even cause more serious injuries.
The apparatus used to immobilise your wrist is often referred to as a support, as it supports the joint and helps to keep it in place. Some of these supports can include a plaster or fibre glass cast, and a splint. A cast is a sturdier support for a broken bone but can take longer to apply and must be completely replaced if they become loose or damaged as swelling reduces. A splint is also known as a half cast, are much quicker to apply, and can be loosened or tightened depending on the patients needs.
It is important to ensure that you take care of your support, and not allow it to become wet or damaged while you are healing. It is also important to be aware of excessive pain in your broken wrist while in a cast or splint. You should also be aware of further swelling, discolouration or numbness in your fingers while wearing a support, as this could be a sign of further infection, nerve damage or loss of circulation. You should notify your doctor immediately if you notice any of those symptoms, as urgent treatment may be required.
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What Is A Broken Wrist
A wrist is classed as broken when one or more of the bones in the joint have been fractured and no longer hold together. Knowing the difference between a broken wrist and a fractured wrist can be difficult, so it is always safe to assume it is broken until a medical professional tells you otherwise. Common broken wrist signs can include:
- dull to severe pain in or around your wrist and hand
- swelling, and bruising in the area around the wrist
- a fractured wrist bone may protrude through the skin.
- the wrist may be bent at an odd angle
- you find it difficult to move or control your wrist or hand
Typical causes of broken wrists are usually through a heavy impact on the palm, wrist or arm that fractures or shatters the bones in the wrist. These can include trying to catch yourself in a fall, if you have been involved in a car accident where the wrist impacts the steering wheel, or even when playing a contact sport such as rugby or in line skating.
Wrist fractures can be divided up into different classifications depending on which bones have been fractured, and in what way, for example:
- Simple: with a clean break to one of the bones the make up the wrist
- Compound: where a fractured wrist bone punctures or damages the skin
- Greenstick: This classification is for broken wrists associated with children
- Comminuted: where the bone shatters into several pieces, usually caused by a heavy impact to the wrist bones, like that of a car accident.
Signs Of A Wrist Fracture
It can be challenging to figure out whether your child has a broken or just a sprained wrist. Here are some general guidelines that suggest the wrist is broken:
- large amount of swelling
- pain when trying to move the wrist
- crunching or popping with bending/straightening, or turning the palm up and down
- any bruising
- extreme tenderness/pain when touching the bones around the wrist
- refusal to use the hand or put weight on it
- When to take your child to the doctor after a wrist injury
If the thought crosses your mind that your child has a broken wrist, take them in to see the doctor. Either go directly to an orthopedic specialist or see your regular doctor for a recommendation.
Only a careful examination and x-ray can confirm a suspected fracture.
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Why Does The Arm Need To Be In A Splint
The splint is not a specific treatment for the broken bone, but is used to reduce pain.
The arm can be in a splint for up to 3 weeks. The splint can be worn at night. Sometimes these fractures settle down more quickly and, if it is not too sore, it is fine for them to start taking the splint off sooner. Start by taking it off for short periods of time, and at night, and go from there.
Hand Fractures At Seattle Childrens
At Seattle Childrens, we understand childrens and teens growing bones. We have the knowledge and experience to provide expert fracture care, including surgical treatment of the most complex cases.
We treat about 2,000 children and teens with fractures each year. In the summer, when children play the hardest, we see many fractures on our busiest days. Many of the patients we treat are referred to us from other doctors and hospitals throughout the Pacific Northwest.
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How Will It Get Better
A childs bone will straighten out after a fracture through the process of remodeling.
Remodeling involves the smoothing out of the crooked part of the bone. The younger the patient, the faster and straighter the bone will heal.
This is an x-ray of an arm fracture that is crooked in the first picture, less crooked in the second, and healed much straighter in the third x-ray.
remodeling of an arm fracture in a child
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.
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A Guide To Broken Wrist Recovery Time
A broken bone can make life very difficult, whether youre dealing with pain, protecting it from further injury, and trying to get on with your daily life while you recover. This can be made even more difficult with a broken wrist. We use our hands for almost everything we do, and if one of our wrists is immobilised in a cast, even simple tasks can become extremely difficult. Cooking a meal, buttoning up a shirt, and even showering can become the most complicated process. Not to mention you would have to take a long break from playing sports or exercising in order to let it heal. Thats why reducing the length of time it takes to recover is so important.
Broken wrist recovery time guide
A broken wrist is defined by a break in the one or more of the bones that make up the wrist joint. This type of injury can be tricky to deal with and requires immediate medical attention to ensure effective healing. Failure to treat a broken wrist quick enough could result in the bones not setting correctly, which could cause a loss of the full use of your wrist. This could also happen if your wrist is not given adequate time to recover, or if the correct measures are not followed to allow correct healing.
Exercises To Do At Home
Following initial physiotherapy sessions with your physiotherapist, you might want to continue with some exercises at home to continue to aid your recovery. We have included some typical broken wrist exercises here that may help you. These exercises should be done only when you have reached a certain stage of recovery, and you should check with your doctor before you begin performing your own exercises at home.
It is recommended that you repeat each of these movements ten times each:
- With your elbow and forearm flat on a table, and hand hanging over an edge, raise your hand up and down
- Place your palm and forearms on a table, then flip your hand over to the back, and then return to your palm again
- With your palm and forearm flat on a table, tilt your hand from side to side in a slow waving motion
- With your palm facing the ceiling, raise your thumb up towards the ceiling then back down towards the ground
- With your palm facing the ceiling, fold your thumb across the middle of your palm, then back out to the side as far as it can go
- Start with your hand open wide, all fingers outstretched, then move your thumb to touch the tip of your index finger. Return your thumb to its starting position, then repeat with the rest of your fingers
- From an open-handed position, make a tight fist, then return to the open position. If it is difficult to make your knuckles reach the 90-degree position, you can also use your other hand to help
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What Is The Outlook For Someone With A Broken Wrist
You will need to wear a cast until the bones heal. This will usually take 46 weeks, or longer if the fracture is more serious.;
Sometimes after the cast comes off it may be useful to wear a splint some of the time, so that you feel comfortable and confident to use your hand again, but a splint is not always necessary. If you have had surgery and the bones are well fixed with a plate and/or screw, you might only have the cast on for 1014 days. After that you may wear a splint for some or all the time for 34 weeks, but you can start moving your wrist, usually under the guidance of your surgeon and/or physiotherapist or hand therapist. Do not expect your hand and wrist to be normal as soon as the cast comes off. Eventually, your hand and wrist will work well again, but it will take time.
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:|
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What You Can Do Right Away
If you think that your child has broken a bone, get medical help. Call 911 right away if the bone appears through the skin or you suspect your child’s head, neck, or back was injured. Even if that’s not the case, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible.
There are things you can do while you wait for help. If you can see the broken bone, make sure your child is lying down. Then put pressure on the area with a sterile, gauze pad or, if there aren’t any nearby, a clean cloth. Don’t try to push the bone back into place, even if it’s hard to look at, and don’t wash it.
If you can’t see the bone, don’t move the limb. Try to cut away or remove clothing around the injured area, but do it as gently as possible so you don’t cause any extra pain.
Wrap ice or a cold compress in a cloth and put it on the skin near the injured area. This will make it hurt less. Don’t do this in babies and toddlers because cold temperature can hurt their skin.
Make a splint to get the area more stable. To do this, pad the space around the break with soft cloth, then add a rolled-up newspaper or board to the limb. This surface should extend both below and above the injury. Wrap tape or bandage to keep the splint in place, but don’t do it too tightly.
Sometimes a sling made out of a piece of a towel or piece of clothing will keep the limb or joint in place.
Don’t give any food, drink, or medicine to your child in case they need surgery. It’s usually not allowed just before an operation.