Wrist Fracture / Distal Radius Fracture

A wrist fracture, particularly a distal radius fracture, is a common injury that occurs when one of the bones in the wrist breaks. This particular type of fracture happens in the radius bone – one of the two big bones in the forearm – near the end of the bone that is closest to the wrist, which is why it’s called a “distal radius fracture”.

Symptoms

If you have a distal radius fracture, you might experience:

  • Pain, which can be severe
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformity of the wrist, i.e., the wrist might look bent
  • Inability to move wrist or hand
  • Numbness or tingling in the hand

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of a distal radius fracture typically involves:

  • Physical Examination: The doctor will check for visible signs of a fracture and assess the patient’s pain, swelling, and range of motion.
  • Imaging: X-rays are commonly used to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, a CT scan or MRI may be needed for more complex fractures.

Prevention

Preventing wrist fractures involves:

  • Using protective gear during physical activities
  • Strengthening your bones through a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D

Treatment

Treatment for a distal radius fracture depends on the severity of the fracture and can include:

  • Cast or splint: For less severe fractures, a cast or splint may be applied to keep the wrist stable as it heals.
  • Closed reduction: This is a procedure where the doctor moves the broken bone back into place without making an incision. A cast or splint is then applied.
  • Surgery: In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary. This can involve the use of plates and screws, pins, or an external fixator to hold the bone in place while it heals.

Remember, immediate medical attention is crucial if you suspect a distal radius fracture. Early treatment can help ensure proper healing and avoid complications.