A very common injury for people of all ages, a broken wrist, is far more complex than it actually sounds. A broken wrist, essentially a misnomer; actually refers to the fracture of the distal radius – one of the two bones that comprise the forearm. This is the most common wrist fracture in people under age 65, and often occurs when someone uses their arms to break their fall; often these injuries occur in the winter in icy conditions.
Symptoms of a Broken Wrist
How do you know if you’ve suffered a broken wrist? The most obvious symptom is pain at the wrist joint, followed by swelling of the wrist and often the fracture is evident to the unaided eye. The fracture, occurring at the end of the radius, is medically diagnosed by X-ray.
To aid in the healing of a fractured wrist, doctors often reset the bones, called reducing of the fracture, to ensure that they align properly to heal and either a cast or a wrist support brace is used to stabilize the bones while they heal. Though casts were the gold standard for broken wrists 30 years ago, dependent upon the physical demands of the individual, a person’s overall health, and the patient’s age will determine if a permanent cast is actually necessary.
Surgery is seldom called for in cases of a fractured wrist, only severe breaks require an operation. Over the years, doctors have been more inclined to use a wrist support that will allow some mobility while the bones heal. Physical therapists can often help a patient regain their full range of motion during the healing process, allowing a patient to resume their normal activities sooner and allowing for better flexibility of the area affected.
Broken Wrist Recovery
Something to consider while healing from a broken wrist is the type of wrist brace, if that option is available to you, that you need. What you should look for in a product description is what type of wrist problems it is equipped to help you with. Many wrist supports are ideal for people dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome and are not as adaptable to people with wrist injuries. Often, your physician or physical therapist can recommend a brand or style of wrist support that would best help you on your road to recovery.