Wrist fractures – especially to the radius and ulna – are a frequent injury among sports players, as the arm is instinctively used to break a fall.
Causes of Wrist Fracture
Fractured wrists are usually caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand. A direct blow to, or twisting of the wrist, perhaps incurred during contact sports, are also common causes of these injuries.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
You may experience pain, swelling, and tenderness in your wrist, as well as difficulty in bending it. You may also have a visible deformity of your wrist, although some fractures are not obvious; for example, a scaphoid bone fracture have no visible external signs, without even a bruise present. In some cases you will only be aware of the fracture when the pain becomes quite severe. A wrist fracture may also be accompanied by a dislocation. Our doctor will examine your wrist and you will have an X-ray to determine the extent of your break and to ensure that you have not suffered additional injuries, such as a fractured forearm.
Risks & Complications
If the fracture remains untreated, there is a high risk that you will experience complications such as the non-union of bone fragments, and avascular necriosis (the death of the bone caused by absence of blood supply). Untreated fractures can also lead to loss of mobility in your wrist, and osteoarthritis.
Treatment for Wrist Fracture
Undisplaced Wrist Fracture
- Immobilisation using a fibreglass cast
- Anti-inflammatories for soft tissue inflammation
Displaced or Multiple Wrist Fracture
- Surgery to repair your bones