Is My Wrist Sprained or Fractured?
Dr. Tom Miller is on The Scope with The Specialists. Dr. Miller: Do you have a wrist fracture and what do you do about it? Dr. Andrew Tyser: Orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand care and surgery.
Broken Wrist Vs. Sprained Wrist
A simple fall from ground level, slipping on ice, or falling off a bike are all possibilities.
Symptoms of Broken & Sprained Wrists
The X-ray is a relatively simple, quick, and easy procedure that will usually tell us whether you have a fracture or not. According to Dr. Tyser, ruling out a fracture is sometimes just as important as diagnosing one. The distal radius is the area where your wrist bends. It’s on the thumb side of the wrist and about an inch or so before it bends.
How to Treat a Sprained Wrist
For minor wrist injuries, rest, ice, elevation, and observation are recommended. Can these fractures be managed by a general practitioner? More and more hand specialists are managing fractures about the hand, including the wrist. The long-term consequences of missing it aren’t too common to s.
Recovery Time for a Broken Wrist
Many wrist fractures can be treated with conservative measures like casting or splinting, but a significant subset of them will require surgery. General orthopedic surgeons are well-equipped to handle common wrist fractures like the distal radius.
Can you move your wrist if it’s fractured?
When the wrist is broken, it causes pain and swelling, making it difficult to move or use the hand and wrist. However, some people can still move or use the hand and wrist despite the broken bone.
How do you tell if your wrist is fractured?
These signs and symptoms could be caused by a broken wrist:
- Obvious deformity, such as a bent wrist
- Severe pain that may worsen when gripping, squeezing, or moving your hand or wrist.
How do you tell if wrist is fractured or sprained?
A fracture occurs when one or more of the bones in your wrist break, and only an x-ray can determine whether it’s a fracture or a sprain. A fracture causes sharp pain that prevents you from moving your wrist, whereas a sprain causes throbbing pain with some range of motion.
Can a wrist fracture go unnoticed?
Because of the complicated anatomy of the wrist, accurate diagnosis is difficult, and in many cases, the fracture goes undetected, leading to further complications. Some people may also develop premature osteoarthritis as a result of their scaphoid injury.
What happens if a wrist fracture is left untreated?
A scaphoid fracture can lead to wrist osteoarthritis, especially if the fracture is left untreated and does not heal properly, a condition known as “nonunion.” Severe cases of this type of osteoarthritis can result in scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC).
Do you need a cast for a hairline fracture in the wrist?
A hairline fracture requires different treatment than a more severe fracture; you won’t need a cast, but the doctor may recommend that you wear a brace to keep your arm immobile, as well as rest and ice to relieve pain.
Does a sprained wrist hurt to touch?
You may be able to move your wrist in a range of motion if you have a wrist sprain; it will be painful, but you will be able to do it. This usually means the bones are not broken, and you have a sprain. Another sign of a wrist sprain is swelling and redness around the sprained area of the wrist.
Will a sprained wrist heal on its own?
While wrist sprains are painful, they are usually easy to treat, and a sprained wrist will heal on its own in most cases. There are a few ways to relieve the pain of a wrist sprain and speed the healing process. Rest your wrist for a few days, icing it every few hours.
When should you see a doctor for a wrist injury?
If there is an obvious deformity, severe pain, numbness, or the person is unable to move the wrist or maintain a grip, see a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away. These are all signs of a possible fracture.
How long are you off work with a broken wrist?
In general, your wrist will take six to eight weeks to fully heal, and you will be unable to lift heavy objects or perform heavy manual labor during this time; however, if you can perform office-based tasks, you may be able to return to work with your plaster on before this time.
How long does it take a wrist sprain to heal?
Symptoms of milder wrist sprains usually improve in two to three days, while more severe sprains can take weeks or months to heal completely.
Can a wrist fracture heal without a cast?
Ribs run parallel to each other, so a fractured rib is supported by the ribs on both sides, allowing it to heal without the use of a cast or surgical plate.
Can fractures go unnoticed?
Stress fracture symptoms can go unnoticed for a long time, only becoming apparent after a bone has completely broken or another injury has occurred. If you suspect you have a stress fracture, see an orthopedic surgeon who can diagnose you and help you avoid further injury.
How is a fractured wrist treated?
What is the treatment for a wrist fracture?
- Wearing a cast or splint for five to six weeks, then physical therapy to regain strength and range of motion
- Surgery to repair the break with pins to keep the bone in place.