How Do I Know If I Need Wrist Fracture Surgery?

July 6th, 2015

Although a wrist fracture is a common injury, it can have a significant impact on your day to day life. You depend upon your hands and wrists for almost everything you do at home, at work, and at play. Made up of a complex network of ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints and bones, the wrist can demonstrate amazing mobility. However, when it is injured, it can also be a significant impediment. If you have experienced a wrist fracture, you may have a number of questions. How long will this take to heal? How do I know if I need wrist fracture surgery? Who can provide the expertise I need?  

At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we understand that getting clear answers to questions like these is an important step in the healing process. So, below you will find answers to your questions about the injury, its treatment, and your expected recovery. 
What Happens During Wrist Fractures?
Before you ask, how do I know if I need wrist fracture surgery, it is important to find out what is actually going on during such an injury. There are several different bones in and around the wrist that can break. The most commonly fractured bone in the wrist is the radius. Although it may be that only one bone is broken, the injury can have a significant impact on your ability to use the rest of the hand and wrist as well. If you have experienced a wrist fracture, it is important to contact a doctor immediately for assessment and treatment.    

What Are My Wrist Fracture Treatment Options?
In many cases, a non-operative treatment is sufficient. This option uses a splint or cast to hold the bones in place as the heal. Such non-operative treatment is usually effective in cases of a simple fracture, in which no bone fragmentation has occurred, and the bone fragments have not shifted out of place. Other considerations to determine if this course of treatment is appropriate include the location of the fracture and the patient’s level of activity. 
Another wrist fracture treatment option is surgery. This surgical treatment for wrist fractures can be done in a variety of different ways, depending upon the nature of the injury. Most wrist fractures are treated with a small plate and several screws to hold the bones in the correct position. However, other fractures can be secured in place with pins. 
How Do I Know If I Need Wrist Fracture Surgery? 
When you ask your doctor, How do I know if I need wrist fracture surgery, she or he will consider a variety of factors, including: 
  • Are the bones shifted out of position?
  • Are the bones fragmented and unstable? 
  • Is the wrist joint, as a whole, affected by the injury?
If the answer is yes to one or more of the above questions, your doctor will most likely recommend wrist fracture surgery as the appropriate course of action. 
What Does Wrist Fracture Surgery Recovery Timeline Look Like? 
Your own timeline for recovery from a wrist fracture surgery will depend in large part upon the severity of the injury and the nature of your treatment. In order to ensure the best possible recovery, it is important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions. After the cast is removed, she or he may also recommend physical therapy to help restore strength and movement in your wrist.  
Where Should I Turn For Treatment? 
If you or someone you love experiences a wrist fracture, it is important to find experienced treatment and compassionate care. For those in the Philadelphia area, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute has the expert care you need. For more information about our hand and wrist specialities, contact us today at 1.800.321.9999.

Related Specialties

Related Physicians

Filter Physicians



Please select your region to view available physicians.

Select Your Region

Related Conditions

Related Treatments

1 of 1
You are using an unsupported version of Internet Explorer. To ensure security, performance, and full functionality, please upgrade to an up-to-date browser.