Radius Fracture- #1 Reason Slip-n-Slide is Adult Proof

Radius Bone Fracture

The Facts about a Radius Fracture

Who can experience this injury?

  • A radius fracture can happen to anyone. (This includes a fun-loving adult who decides to show the kids his famous dive and slide technique on the slip-n-slide.)
  • Athletes, for example, often get a radius fracture when they land hard or catch a ball the wrong way.
  • Another example is that often older men and women will get a radius fracture from a minor fall to the floor. The bone density decreases when men and women age.
  • Women often develop osteoporosis, which causes bone degeneration. They are at an increased risk of having a radius fracture than younger people.
  • Young, healthy individuals will get a broken wrist during a traumatic event, such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bike incidents.

Where exactly is this injury on the body?

  • There are two bones in the forearm, the ulna and radius.
  • The radius is the larger of the two bones.
  • People who break their elbow and/or wrist may have a radius fracture.

What are the signs that this injury occured?

  • People who have a radius fracture will have instant pain in the injured area.
  • There will also be swelling or bruising. Most broken bones lie in a disfigured position.
  • Doctors will review an x-ray of the broken bones to identify the severity of the break. More often than not, the radius bone breaks close to the edge of the bone.

Is this injury preventable?

  • There are steps that people can take to reduce the risk of a radius fracture.
  • Bike riders can wear wrist guards to protect their bones in case of an accident.
  • The same goes for motorcycle riders.
  • People who eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and calcium will have a reduced risk of bone degeneration.

How is this injury treated?

  • When the radius fracture is still aligned, patients usually can wait to see their doctor if the pain is not too great.
  • Otherwise, patients who have deformed broken wrists will go to the emergency room for immediate treatment.
  • Broken wrists are either in splints or in casts. Doctors will often put the wrist in a splint until the swelling goes down.
  • Once the swelling goes down, the patient will receive a cast.
  • The cast normally stays on for two weeks and then is removed so that an x-ray can show the healing progress.
  • Most patients will wear a cast up to six weeks when they have a radius fracture.

Since a radius fracture can happen to anyone from a young, healthy athlete to an older, less active individual, the important steps are understanding the points of prevention, detection and treatment.  And remember, maybe your turn on the slip-n-slide should stay in memory lane.

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Radial Fracture and Football – 3 Keys to Tackle Relief!

Radial Fracture

Radial fractures, or wrist fractures, are highly common. This is particularly true among adults. Those who play contact sports are also very likely to have this kind of break. Football, perhaps the most physical sport, is a high-risk activity for wrist fractures. More than other sports, players hurl themselves at each other. They fall in heaps on top of one another. They continually put their wrists at risk.

Key #1 – Understanding How It Happens!

  • A distal radius fracture is on the inside bone of the forearm.
  • Normally, it is snapped. This can happen when a person stretches their hand out to catch themselves in a fall.
  • It is not difficult to suffer a radial fracture. Something as simple as tripping over your toddler’s toy truck could do it.
  • The likelihood of this injury increases when playing sports like football.

Key #2 – Understanding the Impact of the Injury!

  • A simple wrist break can easily end a football season.
  • Treatment of a fracture often requires immobilization of the wrist. This will promote healing and restore natural movement.
  • Because of the rough nature of football, playing with a break is a mistake. It will certainly prevent proper healing.

Key #3 – Understanding What You Should Do!

  • If you enjoy a game of football with the guys and have just suffered a distal radius fracture, it is very important that the doctor’s instructions be carefully followed.
  • The fracture needs to heal correctly. Rough activities can impede this.
  • Sitting on the sidelines will test your patience. However, being able to play again depends on keeping the wrist straight.
  • The less stress a patient places on their broken wrist the better. This is true for the entire healing period. This will increase the chances of regaining full mobility and rotation.
  • If you follow this advice, you should heal nicely.
  • Be prepared, some patients have occasional wrist pain after their injury.

Even with all the padding and protective equipment, football players are at risk of suffering a radial fracture. It is an injury that can quickly end a season. But these three keys can aid in a complete healing. The player just has to be patient and careful. When that happens, he will tackle relief!

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Distal Radius Fracture – “Break”ing Down the Injury!

Distal Radius Fracture

A distal radius fracture is a break in the radial bone. This bone is located in your forearm on your thumb side. When a person has this type of break, the tip of their ulna is usually broken as well.

Understanding the Injury

  • Radial fractures most commonly occur when there is a fall on outstretched hand(s). This can happen whether you fall forward or backwards. Tripping or missing a step can cause a distal radius fracture. We stretch out our hands to catch ourselves when we fall. It is a natural reaction.
  • That makes this kind of break very common. There are about 600,000 wrist fractures every year! Most of these are in adults and mainly in the elderly.

Understanding the Treatment

  • This nasty break can only be treated with complete immobilization of the joint.
  • If the break is very complex surgery may be needed.
  • More often, all that is needed is a strong splint. If the break requires a cast, the patient has to wear a splint until swelling subsides. This ensures a snug fit for the cast. If necessary, a cast might extend all the way up to include the elbow. This further prevents rotation. Rotation can negatively affect the healing process.
  • An internal fixation plate might be used to treat the break instead. This is placed inside the wrist to hold the bones together until they heal.
  • An external fixation is a piece of hardware affixed to the outside of the arm. Pieces of the device insert into the arm and attach to the bones to keep everything in place.
  • This method is used in patients with a distal radius fracture that is too unstable for a cast. But external fixation is more convenient than a cast in that it allows a person to easily shower and even gently use their hand.
  • Speed of recovery is dependent on a person’s age and activity level.

A distal radius fracture is a complex injury but this “break” down will help you understand the basics.

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Quervain Pain? 5 Keys To Real Recovery

Quervain Tenosynovitis

A Quervain injury is painful.    Basic actions can cause this injury. Making bread and gardening! Lifting children and mopping! All these and more can cause it. Repetitive motion causes the wrist to swell.  This is when the injury occurs.

Now it needs to be treated. What is the best way? Here are five keys to relieve the pain.

Rest

  • This wrist injury is helped with rest.
  • As with most swelling, you need to allow the injury time to recover.
  • This will speed up Quervain’s slow healing process.

Splinting

  • Splinting will often be a part of treatment. A splint can most often be removed. It wraps around the injured area.
  • It should hold the wrist in place. With a Quervain injury, using rest/splint together can help.  It may still take up to 6-8 weeks to heal.

Anti-inflammatory Medication

  • Anti-swelling medicines are most often over the counter.
  • They decrease swelling and relieve pain.
  • Those with Quervain’s pain seem to find relief.
  • Sometimes a steroid injection may be needed.  The shot will go  directly into the site of pain.

Physical Therapy

  • Physical Therapy helps healing.  It is treatment through exercise. This is another effort to reduce swelling.
  • The hope is to also reduce pain and aid healing.
  • Often electric stimulation is used.  It is combined with manual exercises.
  • Also, the patient is taught how to avoid the causes of this injury. This will help prevent reoccurence.

Cortisone Injection

  • Cortisone is a powerful medicine.  It will reduce the swelling.  It will also make relief faster and stronger. This is because it goes right to the site of the pain.
  • It is better than oral anti-swelling medications.
  • Most with Quervain’s can return to their normal activities quickly.  It is normally within three weeks of a cortisone sh

Quervain’s can be teated with these five key steps.  In rare occasions, surgery may be required. These keys to real recovery can help speed the healing of those suffering from the pain.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – 4 Keys to Relief!

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be extremely painful.  It affects the wrist. Typing on a keyboard is a repetitive motion that can cause CTS.  Sewing, playing sports and writing can also cause it.  It commonly affects women between the ages of 30 and 60, but can affect both genders of any age.

The carpal tunnel is where the nerves in the wrist meet the hand. Swelling greatly affects this area because it is small to begin with. Symptoms of  CTS can happen suddenly or occur over a long period of time. They can include pain in the thumb and fingers, a weak grip and pain extending to the elbow.

Treatment

Treatment can be accomplished in a number of ways.

  • A simple change in keyboards may be able to reduce many of the symptoms.
  • Wrist braces, hot and cold packs, and medications are also necessary in some case.
  • Surgery is another option depending on the severity.
  • Speaking with a doctor is always advised.  This will help avoid any further damage to these nerves.

Surgery Recovery

CTS surgery involves cutting the ligament pressing on the nerve. This relieves the pain.

  • This type of surgery has a high success rate. A person should be able to return to a normal life in one to three weeks.
  • Activities such as sports should be avoided for approximately four to six weeks.
  • Pain can be intense for the first few days following surgery. Medications help resolve this pain.

Exercises

Exercises for carpal tunnel are designed to relieve some of the symptoms and avoid surgery in patients with mild to moderate pain.

  • Five quick minutes before work can make a difference in how easily a patient is able to get through the day.
  • Start by extending the wrist with the fingers pointing up and holding for a count of five.
  • Then, create a fist and bend the wrist downward toward the floor for another count of five.
  • Repeat these exercises approximately ten times and then shake the hands gently to loosen the affected area.
  • This regimen should be performed daily before any activity suspected of causing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Prevention

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a repetitive stress injury.

  • Prevention is the best way to avoid surgery, and following the above steps is a good place to start.
  • Doing specialized exercises, taking breaks, and speaking with a doctor are all important to the overall healing process when a patient suspects an issue.

Follow these 4 keys to relief to enhance your ability to prevent and recover from carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Broken Fifth Metacarpal: 5 At-Home Tricks to Treat it

Broken-Fifth-Metacarpal

Broken Fifth Metacarpal

A Broken Fifth Metacarpal is quite common but what is the fifth metacarpal bone? Look at your hand. The long bones which connect your fingers to the wrist are the metacarpal bones. The first metacarpal bone connects the thumb to the wrist. Whereas, the fifth metacarpal is the one connecting your smallest finger to your wrist. The fifth metacarpal is small, delicate and easily broken.

A broken fifth metacarpal bone is also called a boxer’s fracture or a brawler’s fracture. These names are due to the fact that this injury is normally caused by striking an object (hopefully not another person!) with a closed fist.

How is a broken fifth metacarpal diagnosed?

  • Broken metacarpal bones are normally diagnosed through a doctor’s exam and x-rays.
  • Symptoms typically include numbness, swelling, bruising, and discoloration of the hand.

How will my doctor treat my broken fifth metacarpal?

  • Upon diagnosis, your doctor will have determined how serious your fracture is and if it requires surgery.
  • Your doctor will probably send you home with some home care instructions.
  • Most often, these injuries heal quite nicely with minor at home care, provided you follow some good, old-fashioned first aid advice!

How should I care for my broken fifth metacarpal at home?

1. Ice: You’ve probably heard your doctor, your mother, your coach, and your eigth grade gym teacher give the same advice over and over again! ICE THAT INJURY!

  • Make a home ice pack by placing several ice cubes into a plastic zipper bag.
  • Then, wrap it in a kitchen towel and apply it to the injury.
  • Ice the metacarpal fracture at frequent intervals.
  • The ice will help reduce swelling and therefore discomfort.

2. Pain Relievers: If you have a mild 5th metacarpal fracture, and your doctor didn’t prescribe painkillers, you may want to take a non-prescription pain reliever.

  • You can use an over the counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • As always, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s dosage recommendations.
  • Also, you always want to be aware of any medication allergies you may have.
  • If you are unsure of dosing, please check with your local pharmacist.

3. An Elevated State: Elevation of the hand with the broken fifth metacarpal will assist in reducing the swelling of the area.

  • We know this advice is commonly given for first aid for many minor injuries.
  • It really does help minimize the swollen area! This should also alleviate some of the discomfort.

4. Immobilization: When you have a fifth metacarpal fracture, it will normally take around 6 weeks for your fracture to heal.

    • During that time, it is best to immobilize your hand with a splint.
    • You may also tape the affected finger to another finger.

5. Rest Your Injury

If you don’t want to splint or tape your metacarpal fracture, please give your hand a lot of rest! It deserves it after the trauma you have just done to it!

  • You should not grip, grasp, pull or lift with the injured hand.
  • It should also go without saying (but I will say anyway): please don’t punch, hit, or karate chop anyone or anything while you have a fifth metacarpal fracture!

These at home treatments are based on good, time proven first aid techniques. Follow these common sense tricks and your fifth metacarpal fracture should heal just fine.

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Broken Thumb & A-Rod: How Athletes Cope

Broken Thumb

ARod's Broken ThumbFor a baseball player, your arms and hands are essential tools. In fact, a broken thumb injury can be a game stopper. This is exactly what happened to New York Yankees’ star, Alex Rodriquez. His thumb was so sore that it was hurting his performance. He had to have an MRI done to see if it was broken.

Lucky for him, the test result was negative. He did not have a broken bone. Instead, he was diagnosed with a sprained thumb. However, it  may still require constant monitoring and regular trips to the doctor’s clinic.

During all this time, A-Rod was out of the lineup for their games agains Oakland and maybe longer. This thumb injury meant lost play time for A-Rod. It also meant a change in the team’s lineup. I am sure that the coaches had questions.

How Common is a Broken Thumb?

  • Athletes who regularly use their arms, especially their fingers, usually suffer a sprained thumb from time-to-time. This is mainly due to constant wear and tear on the area.
  • In some cases, it happens with a high-impact crash on something hard.

How is a Thumb Injury Diagnosed?

  • Diagnosing a sprained thumb is easy.
  • Imaging studies, such as an X-ray and MRI, can also be done to identify other problems in the area such as a broken bone.
  • With this done, treatment can begin.

How is a Thumb Injury Treated?

  • The ligament that supports the grasp and pinch mechanism of the arms becomes torn which causes severe pain and temporary disability.
  • If a partial tear is present, immobilizing the thumb joint using a splint or a bandage is the best option until the thumb heals.
  • Recovery will probably take about four-to-five weeks for complete recovery.
  • If the ligament is found wholly torn, surgery is the only option for treatment.
  • Surgery will involve the ligament being positioned back or removed according to the degree of injury.
  • After surgery, a cast or a splint is applied to the arm that may take about eight weeks to recover.

How Can a Thumb Injury be Prevented?

  • There is not much you can do to prevent thumb sprains, especially for baseball stars who constantly use the same arm to pitch or hit a bat.
  • Nevertheless, one proven effective way to reduce swelling and avoid sprain is to apply ice to the thumb after a training or game.
  • In addition, strength of the hand muscles must be increased while maintaining the flexibility of the joints to stay away from breaking the thumb.
  • You can prevent recurrence of the injury by allowing the sprained thumb to heal thoroughly before returning to a game or practice.
  • Hand exercises should be performed regularly to maintain the strength and stability of the injured thumb.

For the weeks to follow, the Yankees may have to put up a good game without A-Rod. The injury may be something minor but a broken thumb can be incapacitating to an athlete who depends so much on his arms and hands.

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The Easiest Way to Repair a Metacarpal Fracture

Metacarpal Fracture

If you get in a fist fight, watch out for those metacarpals!! A metacarpal Boxer Fracture Xrayfracture is simply a broken finger. The easiest way to repair a metacarpal fracture is setting the finger.  It is the key to healing the broken bone.  Just like any other part of the body, the bone needs to be set after a break.  This helps it heal in proper alignment.

A Misnamed Fracture

Boxer’s Fracture is the name given to most metacarpal fractures.  Why is this break misnamed?  Most boxers are trained to protect their hands from such breaks.  A more fitting name for this injury would be a “Brawler’s Fracture”.

  • This fracture can occur in any of the four fingers, from the index to the pinky. However, most fractures occur on the fourth and fifth metacarpal (the pinky and the ring finger).
  • The break actually occurs near the knuckle where the bones are narrower and are more likely to break.
  • A metacarpal break  usually comes from a fist striking a solid object.

Recovery from your Boxer’s Fracture

  • Letting your bones slowly mend is the first step.  It is possibly the most important step in your recovery from a metacarpal fracture.
  • Keeping the bones stabile and comfortable is going to be another priority in healing.
  • You must also manage the swelling.  You can keep the area iced to reduce swelling.  It will also help with your pain relief.

See your Doctor before Treatment

  • Most doctors do not call for a hard cast in these kinds of injuries.
  • If there is a break to the skin with your metacarpal fracture, this is a more severe break.  It may need a hard cast. This is rare but it does happen.
  • Most minor metacarpal fractures heal with a finger splint, reduction of swelling, and several weeks of immobility.
  • A short physical examination of the affected metacarpals and an X-ray are generally enough to determine if you have a Boxer’s Fracture.

So keep a careful eye on those fist fights!! If you do get into one and break that metacarpal, your doctor can have you on the road to a full recovery in a relatively short amount of time.

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