A Smith fracture involves damage to the distal radius. The arm bone that is typically broken is the radius, but the injury is considered rare. The injury is often seen among young males as well as elderly females.
What are the signs?
The signs of a Smith fractures are the same with other types of fractures.
In most cases, the following are present:
- Abrupt wrist pain
Depending on the seriousness of the fracture, the wrist might hang in an irregular or bent manner.
What are the causes?
Generally, there are 2 ways in which a Smith fracture develops. One is by falling onto the wrist while it is flexed. Another way is from a direct strike to the back part of the wrist.
Management of a Smith fracture
The treatment for a Smith fracture involves restoring the broken bones together in the right position and ensuring that they remain in position until fully recuperated.
The treatment is based on the age, degree of damage and activity level of the individual.
The injury is managed both using conservative and surgical treatment options. Generally, the doctor will start with the conservative measures if possible. Reduction is done where the broken bones are restored into place. If performed without surgery, it is called as closed reduction.
Once closed reduction is done, the wrist is placed in a cast or splint. Generally, a splint is used initially to allow space for swelling. After a few days or a week when the swelling has settled, the splint is replaced with a cast.
If the bone is out of position where closed reduction is not suitable, surgery is required. An incision is created to correctly align the bones. The doctor will utilize several measures to secure the bone in the right position as it heals such as plates, pins, screws and a cast.
Quick Note / Disclaimer
The material posted on this page on Smith fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.