Wrist fractures can occur if an individual extends an arm to avert a fall. Both the hand and forearm endure all the weight and force from the fall and one of the wrist bones are damaged.
Management of wrist fractures
The main objective of treatment for wrist fractures is to restore the normal movement to the affected hand and wrist.
During the healing process, perform exercises to preserve movement and flexibility as well as regain strength.
Basing on the site and seriousness of the fracture, the doctor chooses the suitable treatment.
- Simple – there is damage to the bone, but the edges are close enough for simple manipulation to realign the bone
- Complex – involves damage to several pieces of bone or the joint. In such cases, a cast is not enough, and surgery is necessary.
The initial cast or splint usually starts above the elbow to limit motion of both the elbow as well as the wrist. The individual should perform exercises for the fingers and shoulders to prevent stiffness of the fingers.
During the initial 2-3 weeks, the doctor requests an X-ray every week. In case the bones slip out of position, surgery is necessary to reposition the bones and secure in place. In most cases, the doctor removes the splint or cast after 6-8 weeks.
After the removal, the individual uses a wrist support or splint to support and protect the joint. Oftentimes, the wrist might not appear the same as before the injury.
The second objective of treatment is to check if osteoporosis is present. Since wrist fractures that occur among women ages 40-60 years old might be due to osteoporosis or might be an early indication, a bone density test is necessary.
If the individual has osteoporosis, the necessary steps are vital to preserve the existing bone density. In case the bone density is within the normal range, it is vital to focus on preserving bone health.
The intake of calcium and vitamin D as well as weight-bearing exercises can help maintain the bone density. In case the bone density is low, the doctor might suggest osteoporosis medications to prevent or slow down further bone loss.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on wrist fractures is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.