A Broken Wrist is among the most common broken bones, usually occurring following a fall on an outstretched hand. It generally takes approximately six to eight weeks to heal in adults and less time in children. The radius is the large bone at the wrist that is usually broken in the case of a wrist fracture. The scaphoid and ulna are two other bones that are near the wrist and may also be involved.
There are various different types of wrist fractures, named after the extent of the fracture and where on the bone the fracture has taken place.
A Colles’ fracture involves the radius bone and is often described as ‘a dinner fork’ deformity due to the shape of wrist following the fracture. A Smith’s fracture is the opposite of a Colles’ fracture and is often the result of a fall on a bent wrist. Both of these fractures are extra articular, meaning the wrist joint is not involved.
Symptoms of pain, swelling, deformity and an inability to use the wrist are common after a fracture and should not be ignored. If you suspect a wrist fracture has taken place, it is necessary to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Rehabilitation begins immediately while still in plaster by maintaining the range of movement in the shoulder, fingers and thumb, on the side of the affected wrist. This prevents secondary stiffness in these areas and helps to resolve swelling in the wrist.
Assuming that there are no complications with healing, the plaster can usually be removed after 6 weeks and at this stage more active rehabilitation can be undertaken. Our Physiotherapists may also perform manipulation and mobilisation to reduce stiffness and pain.
It’s important to treat a Broken Wrist as soon as possible to ensure that the bone heals in proper alignment, and to help minimise pain and stiffness. A delay in treatment may affect your ability to perform everyday activities such as grasping and holding.
Our Physiotherapists have extensive clinical experience treating wrist injuries and wrist breaks for those who have acquired sporting injuries or those suffering from fragile bone conditions such as osteoporosis. Our Chartered Physiotherapists will assess your injury and provide appropriate treatment dependent on the level of rehab needed.
All our Physiotherapists have extensive experience in the management of fractures, so you can be sure you are in safe hands.