Wrist Fractures: Treatment and Care
Abdo Bachoura, M.D.
Wrist fractures are very painful breaks in one or more of the bones that make up the wrist. The most common breaks involve the radius bone. These fractures can occur for any number of reasons, including sudden falls, sports injuries, or motor vehicle accidents. While a wrist fracture may be extremely painful, early treatment through casting and sometimes surgery leads to optimal results.
Abdo Bachoura, M.D. is a board-eligible orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity surgery with years of experience healing broken wrists. For him, treating wrist conditions is a major part of his day! He finds improving hand and upper extremity function to be a rewarding experience.
What can cause a wrist fracture?
Dr. Bachoura notes that wrist fractures are very common during outdoor activities, such as hiking or jogging, especially in people aged 50-70. It is not uncommon to experience a sudden trip or fall, and while trying to catch yourself, land directly on your hand.
Landing hard on an outstretched hand can cause a wrist fracture in anyone of any age. Sports injuries are another common cause of wrist fractures for that very reason. High-impact accidents, such as motor vehicle crashes, can also lead to wrist fractures.
I fractured my wrist. What do I do?
If you suspect you have a broken wrist, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. The longer you go without seeking treatment, the higher the risk for your bones setting improperly. A skilled orthopaedic surgeon, like Dr. Bachoura, needs to set the wrist bones immediately after a fracture to ensure proper healing.
If we suspect you have a wrist fracture at The Orthopaedic Institute, we take the time to conduct a comprehensive evaluation. We make sure the nerves in the hand are not damaged and check for injuries to the surrounding areas, such as the forearm and elbow, which are sometimes damaged during a wrist fracture.
X-rays and casting can be done directly in the office during your visit. If X-rays show severe damage to the wrist and its surrounding tissues, surgery may be required.
What does surgery involve?
Surgery has the benefits of allowing the wrist to heal in a proper position. Surgery for a broken wrist is usually performed under regional anesthesia in an outpatient setting. The broken and crooked bones are manipulated and then plates and screws are placed to keep the bones in place while they heal. The plate and screws are often left in the wrist for life unless they need to be removed.
While healing wrist fractures are a common service of many orthopaedic specialists, Dr. Bachoura states it is preferable to visit a physician who specializes in the hand and wrist. Due to the hand’s complexity, it takes a specialized clinician to heal the wrist while avoiding any short and long term complications, such as tendon ruptures, nerve injury, erroneous screw placement and collapse of the fracture. Dr. Bachoura is a dedicated hand specialist who can heal the wrist with minimal risk of complications.