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Wrist Fracture (Broken wrist)

A wrist fracture is a medical term for a broken wrist. The wrist is made up of eight small bones which connect with the two long forearm bones called the radius and ulna.

Although a broken wrist can happen in any of these 10 bones, by far the most common bone to break is the radius. This is called a distal radius fracture by hand surgeons

wrist fracture

Symptoms of a Wrist Fracture

A wrist fracture can happen to one or more bones in the hand. This state can be due to an accident, fall, or some type of sport.
If this has happened to you, you are probably worried about whether your hand is broken or not.

By knowing the signs of a broken hand, you can understand the possibility of damage to its bones.

Since most of our daily activities are done with the help of our hands, note that not receiving proper treatment and not healing the wrist fracture naturally will be very debilitating and will leave many side effects for the person. Surgery may even be necessary.
A wrist fracture is different from a beating.

In the first case, a bone may be broken into several pieces. or several bones are involved. But in the second case, the damage is to the soft tissue including muscles, ligaments and tendons.

After reading the following article, if you suspect a wrist fracture, see a doctor immediately. The earlier the treatment is received, the better and faster your bones will be repaired and you will not experience a decrease in performance.

Hand Anatomy

The human hand consists of 27 bones. 8 wrist bones, 5 palm bones and 14 finger bones. The wrist bones are called carpal bones and the palm bones are called metacarpal bones.

Metacarpal bones have a head, body and base. Each of these bones is connected by ligaments. Also, each bone is connected to muscles that cause movement in the wrist and fingers.

The importance of wrist fracture symptoms is that due to the delicate nature of the bones, it will be easier to detect the wrist fracture in the imaging along with the patient’s symptoms.

Another important point besides the main body of the hand is the vessels and nerves. Fractures and sprains can tear these nerves and vessels. This is one of the most important aspects of fracture management.

wrist fracture

Symptoms of a Broken Hand

Hand fracture symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on the extent of the injury.

The most common symptoms are severe pain, soreness of the area when touched, swelling, bruising, difficulty moving the fingers, numbness or stiffness of the fingers, pain that worsens with movement, and hearing a cracking sound when the injury occurs.

Causes of Hand Fracture

Physical injury:

  • An object falling on the hand
  • Falling on the hand in such a way that the hand supports the face
  • strong force
  • hand crush
  • Hand twitching

These injuries occur during the following scenarios:

The point is that these are the most common causes of broken hands. With increasing age due to osteoporosis, a person’s bones may break with the slightest impact.

However, hands are not common places for this to happen. Also, a series of diseases such as rheumatologically diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis destroys bone tissue and joints and makes them vulnerable.

Another case is malignancies and diseases such as osteogenesis imperfecta or osteosarcoma, where the bone tissue itself is weak and pathological fractures are possible.

What Should I Do If I Suspect A Fracture?

If you think your hand is broken, see a doctor immediately. But before receiving medical services, observe these points:

  • Avoid moving your hand: If you feel that a bone is missing, do not try to move it.
  • Use of ice: placing an ice pack on the area reduces pain and swelling. Just make sure that the ice is covered so that it does not come into direct contact with the skin and cause skin damage.

The goal of first aid for a broken arm is to prevent further damage before reaching a doctor.
It will also reduce pain and accelerate recovery after treatment.

If there is bleeding, your fracture is probably open and the bone is out. In this case, you should go to the emergency room immediately.
Until you get there, you can stop the bleeding with a bandage or a clean cloth and pressure

What Are The Consequences Of Not Treating A Fracture?

Hand fractures may heal on their own, depending on the location and severity of the fracture. But without receiving proper treatment, the possibility of incorrect repair will be high.

Especially since the bones may not be right together. This will reduce hand performance in the future. If the bones fuse incorrectly or poorly, surgery may be needed to repair them.
After that, the restoration will take longer. Therefore, it is very important to get the right treatment from the very beginning.

What Are The Treatments For Fractures?

The goal of the treatment is for the bones to fuse properly and naturally and to maintain the function of the hand after restoration. Treatment options include the following:

  • Casting, handcuffs or braces and splints: These are devices to limit the movement in the hand that is necessary to repair the fracture.
    Which of these is best for you depends on the type of fracture. Metacarpal fractures usually require surgery for repair because they are difficult to immobilize.
  • Medicine for pain control
  • Surgery: Hand stiffness usually does not require surgery.
    But if the damage is very severe, surgery may be necessary. In this case, screws and pins are used to fix the bones in the right place. Sometimes even a bone grip may be used.
wrist fracture

Can I Prevent Hand Fracture Symptoms?

Indeed, it is not possible to prevent unexpected accidents and fractures, but by observing these tips, you can help to repair faster and remove the symptoms of a broken hand in case of accidents:

  • Increasing the strength of bones:

Have enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet. Of course, the most important source of vitamin D is the skin of the human body and exposing it to sunlight.

  • Doing aerobics activities such as brisk walking
  • If you smoke, quit
  • Preventing falls:

Wear appropriate shoes.

Remove things that may cause slipping. Like carpets on smooth surfaces of the house.

Increase the brightness of the living area.

Caution when crossing slippery surfaces and avoid walking on these surfaces as much as possible.

wrist fracture

How Do I Know If My Hand Is Broken Or Not?

Sometimes it is difficult to tell if the hand is broken or cracked or bruised. These injuries cause similar symptoms.

Unlike a fracture where bone tissue is involved, ligaments are stretched or torn when struck. If you can remember exactly what kind of damage you have done to your hand, it is probably easier to identify which one happened to your hand.

Finally, considering the complications of an untreated fracture and considering that the most definitive method of diagnosis is to see a doctor, it is better to see a doctor from the very beginning. The doctor makes a definitive diagnosis using imaging.

Another important point in this regard is the fractures of the small bones of the wrist, which in many cases do not cause pain. Bones such as the scaphoid and lunate do not have a strong blood supply.

The presence of cracks in them can lead to serious complications such as avascular necrosis and further limitation of hand movement, severe pain and premature atherosclerosis at a young age.

Therefore, if you have fallen on your hand, have suspicious symptoms, or suspect a fracture following a severe blow, be sure to see a doctor, because the longer the visit is delayed, the more difficult it will be to treat.

  • last word

When the hand is injured without having specialized knowledge and sometimes without diagnostic tools such as imaging, determining whether a fracture has occurred or simply a tendon has been stretched, for example, and also determining whether the hand needs a cast or not, and It is difficult and sometimes impossible to know how much to stay still if needed.

The complications of abnormal fusion of the fracture are troublesome and require more time and energy to resolve. As a result, if there are signs of a broken hand following an accident, see a doctor immediately to receive a diagnosis and, if necessary, appropriate treatment.

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