Call our offices at:|
9301 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90210
|INSURANCE & WORKERS' COMPENSATION
We accept most types of insurance
providers and specialize in the treatment of workers'
compensation injuries to the hand and upper extremity.
Evaluation & Diagnosis
Treatment of Wrist Fractures
Recovery & Healing
While fractures or breaks in the wrist can result from a number of
different factors, most wrist fractures happen as a result of a fall.
Someone slips and extends his or her arm to break the fall and ends
up breaking their wrist instead. Breaks are more common in people
with osteoporosis, a condition that makes the bones more brittle than
normal and more likely to break.
No matter the cause, when a wrist is fractured or broken there is
typically some pain and swelling. When the wrist or hand is moved,
it may not work as well as expected and it can be stiff and difficult
to use. The wrist, itself, may bend into an unnatural shape and look
Eight small bones, the radius and ulna make up our wrists. The way
the bones are shaped and fitted together enables movement of our wrists
in a variety of ways. Wrists typically move up and down, side to side,
and can bend and rotate.
When a wrist is fractured, the most commonly broken bone is the radius.
If one of the smaller bones, such as the scaphoid breaks, the wrist
might not look any different, but there will still be pain.
Some fractures are considered "simple fractures". In such
cases, the pieces of the fractured bone are still lined up. Other
fractures are more serious and obvious because the wrist will be bent
in an unnatural position. If the broken bones are unstable, or if
the fragments have moved from their normal position, it is referred
to as a comminuted fracture.
Back to the Top
Your hand surgeon will likely begin an evaluation with an examination
of your wrist. X-rays are taken to determine if the wrist is fractured,
especially if the injury is a simple fracture. After examining the
wrist and studying the x-rays, the best treatment will be determined.
If the x-ray is inconclusive or doesn't show injury to the bone or
doesn't adequately show the state of bone fragments, a CT scan or
MRI may be requested.
|Evaluation & Diagnosis
Injuries to the other tissues and structures in the wrist, to the
ligaments that hold the bones together, to the muscles that move them,
to the tendons that attach muscles to the bones, or to the nerves
that tell the muscles to move or relay information about temperature
or pressure can also result from trauma caused by the fracture. If
any of the aforementioned structures were injured, they will need
to be treated along with the fractured bone.
Back to the Top
The decision on how best to treat the fracture depends on a number
of factors. First, the state of the bones is considered, and the treatment
will vary depending on whether any bones need to be repositioned or
the stability of the wrist.
|Treament of Wrist Fractures
|One of our skilled hand surgeons will also take
into account your age and overall health. Additional factors
to consider are whether the wrist is connected to the hand used
most often and what work and leisure activities your hands are
used for. Any previous injuries to the wrist may also affect
how the fracture is treated.
If the bones remained in place, or were moved back into position by
your hand surgeon, either a splint or cast will be used to hold the
wrist in place so as to facilitate healing. Before doing so, surgery
may be needed to set the bone, and it may need to be held in place
with pins, screws, rods, or plates, sometimes externally.
If the wrist is treated by external means, pins will be set above
and below where the bone fractured, and these pins will be held in
place by an external frame around the wrist. This will hold the bone
in place until it heals.
Sometimes, as part of the injury that fractured the bone, part of
the bone may be crushed or missing. In such cases, on of our hand
doctors may need to perform a bone graft, using a bone from another
part of your body to repair the problem. Synthetic bone can sometimes
be used as well.
Unless there was an injury to the fingers, the fingers need to be
moved continually to keep them from getting stiff while the fracture
heals. When the wrist, itself, heals and once again becomes stable,
you may be asked to do some exercises to keep it flexible.
Back to the Top
There is no specific amount of time it takes to recover from a wrist
fracture. After all, a number of things can affect healing. While
simple fractures can sometimes heal in as little as four to six weeks,
more extensive injuries may take months before your wrist fully recovers.
Even then, there may still be some pain.
|Recovery & Healing
Back to the Top