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Wrist fractures

1 out of 10 broken bones in the US is a wrist fracture. This is usually followed by intense pain, swelling of the affected area, and deformity of the wrist. Seeking treatment early helps to diagnose the severity of the fracture, reduce pain, stiffness and promote quick healing. Physical therapy is an effective treatment for wrist fractures. Contact a physical therapist at Polygon PT to evaluate your wrist and create a custom treatment plan for you.

What is a Wrist Fracture?

A wrist fracture occurs when the bones in your wrist get broken. Your wrist is made up of 8 small bones, which are connected to your forearm bones – the radius and ulna. Any of these bones in your wrist can get broken. However, the most common bone to get fractured is the radius. This fracture is called the distal radius fracture, as the radius bone breaks close to the wrist (distal part). When the wrist gets broken, the broken bone may still remain in position (non-displaced fracture) or out of position (displaced fracture). 1 out of 10 broken bones in the US is a wrist fracture.

Causes of Wrist fractures

Wrist fractures are usually caused by a fall on your outstretched arm. Most times during a fall, we try to protect ourselves with our arms. Falling on your wrist can get the bone broken. Wrist fractures can also be caused by

Symptoms of Wrist Fractures

When your wrist is broken you may experience the following symptoms
A broken wrist can also affect the nerves that run to the wrist. It is important to seek help immediately.

Risk Factors for Broken Wrist

Some factors increase the risk for wrist fractures. They include:

Diagnosing Wrist Fractures

At Polygon PT, a physical therapist will examine your wrist, fingers, elbow, and shoulder. If your therapist suspects a wrist fracture, you will be required to undergo an imaging test such as an X-ray with your doctor. Your therapist will also ensure that there are no damaged nerves, joints, or other muscles.

Treatment for Wrist Fractures

The type and severity of your wrist fracture will determine the type of treatment. Non-displaced wrist fractures – where the bone breaks but remains in position is treated without surgery. At Polygon PT, your physical therapist will create a treatment plan for you. When your wrist is in a cast or a sling, your therapist may prescribe gentle exercises, so your wrist doesn’t get stiff or weak. Once your bone has healed to a large extent, and the cast or sling is taken off, motion and strengthening exercises will begin to restore flexibility and promote complete healing. Your therapist will also educate you on exercises you can perform at home, and how you can prevent wrist fractures.
Displaced wrist fractures – where the bone breaks and shifts out of portion is usually treated with surgery. Your surgeon will discuss with you what type of surgery you’ll need. After your surgery, your physical therapist will create a post-operative rehab treatment for you. This ensures quicker healing, at the same time getting your wrist back in good shape. Recovery from wrist fractures takes between 4 – 10 weeks. This could take longer for fractures requiring surgery.

Physical Therapy for Wrist Fractures - Get started Today!

Physical therapy is an easy and effective way for treating wrist fractures, whether it requires surgery or not. It doesn’t only help to relieve pain and stiffness, it also restores strength and flexibility to your wrist, allowing you to get back to everyday activities in a short time. If you have an wrist fracture or suspect you have one, request an appointment with one of our physical therapists today.