Orthopedic Treatment For Wrist Fracture

by Administrator 26. October 2016 08:27

The wrist is the joint that connects the hand to the arm. It comprises of eight smalls sized bones which are linked to the radius and the ulna (two bones in the forearm). Break or cracking any of these bones is medically termed as a wrist fracture. The radius is most likely to break in this joint. Wrist fractures can be classified as stable and unstable fractures.

  • Unstable Fracture- the bone may break into two or more pieces and even after these pieces have been put back in their anatomical place with a cast to secure them, these may again slip out. It makes the joint pretty unstable and difficult to manage
  • Stable Fracture- the broken pieces of bones do not move out of their place and can be easily treated with a simple cast

Some fractures may be so severe that a piece of the broken bone may cut through the skin and cause a wound. Such injuries (also known as open fractures) pose a high risk of infections and take a lot of time to heal.

Causes

  • Falling on an outstretched hand may cause the wrist to break
  • Vehicular accidents may severely impact the wrist joint as high force is applied against the hand
  • People suffering from osteoporosis tend to develop weak bones and supporting soft tissue structures. They are at a higher risk of fractures

Symptoms

  • Pain around the wrist, hand, fingers and forearm especially when moved
  • Swelling may occur immediately after the injury
  • Tenderness and redness around the wrist or lower arm
  • Loss of motion in the hand, fingers and lower arm
    Numbness may be experienced
  • Visibly deformed wrist

Diagnosis

  • The doctor will conduct a thorough physical check of the injured hand to assess the severity of injury
  • X-ray imaging is required to study the location of the broken bone and the ones around it
  • MRI and CT scan reveal soft tissue and nerve injuries besides minor cracks in the bones
  • Assessment of the mode of injury, patient’s medical history, lifestyle, age and overall health condition is made
  • The doctor will also check for neurovascular damages and loss of sensation in the injured hand

Treatment

  • Minor fractures and dislocations can be treated by wearing a soft splint for a few weeks. It helps in pain relief as well as aligns the broken bones
  • In case of major fractures (unstable), immobilization using a cast is recommended
  • Pain killers and anti inflammatory medicines may be given
  • Manual reduction may be an option if a bone has been partially displaced or broken
  • Camera guided arthroscopic surgery may be conducted to reposition the broken bone and it may be fixed internally using metal screws and wires
  • Bone graft is a surgical process that is conducted if there are spaces created between the bones once they have been realigned
  • Physical therapy is highly recommended post treatment to prevent loss of sensation of function in the hand

Patients in Carrollton, TX, can visit Dr. Neagle for treatment of various orthopedic conditions of the hand and wrist. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334.

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