Catching yourself with your hands might be an automatic response after a fall, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to fracture your wrist. At Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Collierville, Tennessee, Michael Hood, MD, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, creates individualized treatment plans for wrist fractures. To explore treatments and services available for wrist fractures, request an appointment by phone or book online at either location today.
Wrist fractures are broken bones within the wrist joint. Wrist fractures can affect any of the bones within your wrist, including the small scaphoid bone among the group of small carpal bones within the wrist, or the radius, which is one of your two forearm bones. A fracture of the radius is the most common type of wrist fracture.
Though you can fracture your wrist in nearly endless ways, most people with wrist fractures get them from attempting to catch themselves with their hands while falling. Certain conditions, like osteoporosis, leave you more susceptible to wrist fractures and other fractures than the average person.
For the most part, wrist fractures affecting any part of the wrist cause the same set of symptoms. Since wrist fractures are usually acute injuries, they cause immediate and severe pain and swelling.
At Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Hood evaluates your wrist with a physical examination as soon as you arrive. To see just how severe the fracture is and confirm its location, he uses imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans to view the fracture in detail.
Sometimes, wrist fractures are severe enough to cause tears in nearby tendons or other small injuries around the joint. While making your diagnosis or planning your treatment, Dr. Hood and the Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine team considers and treats these secondary damages.
Treatments for wrist fractures depend on their severity. If the bone has not broken into multiple pieces or if the pieces are still in perfect alignment, Dr. Hood gives you a splint or plaster cast to keep your wrist stable as the natural healing process happens within. To accelerate healing and reduce pain, he might also recommend:
If you have a cast, its fit can change as the swelling goes down. You need to come back to Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine to change it as this occurs. Dr. Hood monitors the healing process with imaging tests during your visits.
You may need surgery for particularly severe wrist fractures. During surgery, Dr. Hood might place plates or screws to hold the bone fragments in their correct places and promote their healing. If you have an open fracture, which is a fracture that is severe enough to break through soft tissue and skin, you need surgery within eight hours of the injury’s occurrence.
If you suspect a wrist fracture is causing your pain and swelling, call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine for an evaluation or book your visit online today.