Doctor's Notes on Wrist Injury (Wrist Fracture)
A wrist injury typically refers to a sprain, strain, or fracture. Signs and symptoms of a wrist injury (fracture) may include
- wrist pain,
- limited range of motion of the wrist joint,
- skin discoloration over the joint,
- warmth of the joint, and
- joint deformity.
Tendons and ligaments may also be injured with fractures; signs and symptoms are similar.
Causes of wrist fractures most often are falls onto an outstretched hand, but almost any type of trauma (falls, hit with a blunt object, crush injuries, for example) can cause fractures. Causes of injury without fractures are often due to overuse and carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Are the Treatments for a Wrist Fracture?
The treatments for a wrist fracture are as follows and are used according to the severity of the fractures:
- Reduction realigns fractured bones in the wrist (with local or general anesthesia before reduction).
- Immobilization: cast or splint
- Medication: over-the-counter medications (ask about NSAIDs) or prescription (like codeine); antibiotics if necessary
Surgery holds bones in place.
- Implants: pins, plates, rods, and/or screws
- External fixation: external rod or frame with pins attached that go through the skin into the bone on both sides of the fracture
- Bone graft to promote healing
An orthopedic hand surgeon is usually consulted about what treatments may be best for the individual, including the need for physical and/or occupational therapy.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome : Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
The carpal tunnel is found in the _____________.See Answer
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Fractures or DislocationsFractures are breaks in bone and are classified according to several different categories. Compound fractures are the most dangerous; the bone is broken into fragments that come through the skin. Treatment includes setting the broken bone and splinting the injury, among other steps. Steps are taken to prevent infection if the skin is broken.
Hand InjuriesHand injuries can be divided into six categories. 1) cuts and lacerations, 2) fractures and dislocations, 3) soft tissue injuries and amputations, 4) infections, 5) burns, and 6) high pressure injuries. Treatment of hand injuries depends on the type of injury.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.