A broken wrist, or a wrist fracture, is a common injury, often resulting when someone slips and attempts to break their fall using their hands and wrists. The impact from the body’s weight coming down abruptly on the joints in the wrist often causes the distal radius (one of two bones that comprises the forearm) to fracture. A frequently injured limb, nearly one in six bone fractures treated in emergency rooms across the U.S. is a broken wrist.
How do you know if you’ve suffered a wrist fracture? 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 wrist fracture, 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.
While the cast was the standard means of immobilizing the bones for decades, physicians have been opting for wrist support braces or even wrist and forearm supports in many less severe cases in adults and even for youth. One of the many benefits of the wrist support is that only the motion of the affected areas are reduced, but the patient still has their full range of motion in the hand, fingers, and arm. Only the area where the bones need to heal is restricted. This also allows for physical therapy exercises to be completed, letting the injured area heal with greater flexibility and preserving the patients’ range of motion.
Wrist Fracture Treatment
There is an extensive variety of wrist support braces and wrist and forearm supports available on the market today, with a wide range of styles, designs, functions, and sizes. Whatever your needs, there is a quality option available to you to help you heal as quickly and comfortably as possible. As your range of motion gradually increases, you can use the support brace as needed, to provide extra support when you need it most.