10 Facts To Know About Your Wrist Fracture Procedure

June 27th, 2016

If you or someone you love has experienced a wrist fracture, you may be wondering what to expect during the treatment and recovery process. At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we perform many wrist fracture procedures each year, so our doctors and staff can provide you with the answers you may need.

Begin by reviewing the facts below before you talk with your doctor about an upcoming wrist fracture procedure. With this information, you will be able to ask well-informed questions and feel fully prepared for whatever procedure is recommended for your condition.

  1. Wrist Fractures Are Very Common Injuries. Almost 250,000 people experience wrist fractures, also known as distal radial fractures, each year. These, in addition to injury in other areas of the wrist, make wrist fractures one of the most commonly reported and commonly operated on orthopaedic injuries in the nation. For patients, this can be a reassuring fact; they are not alone in their injury, and the various treatment options have proven themselves over time.

  2. The Most Commonly Fractured Wrist Bone Is The Radius. The wrist is made up of eight small carpal bones, as well as the two long bones of the forearm, called the ulna and the radius. The latter is the bone which is most commonly fractured, usually at the distal end. That is, the end closer to the hand and further from the body.

  3. Simple Wrist Fractures Can Typically Be Treated Nonoperatively. Wrist fractures come in many forms. Simple fractures are those in which there is no bone fragmentation or shifting of the bones out of place. These can typically be treated with a cast or splint, without requiring a surgical wrist fracture procedure.

  4. Some Wrist Fractures Must Be Treated Surgically. For more complicated fractures, a surgical treatment approach can be more effective. These situations can include: bones shifting out of place, bones becoming fragmented or unstable, or involvement of the joints. For such conditions, surgical treatments may include using a plate and screws or several pins to hold the bones in place.

  5. You Can Help To Manage Pain And Swelling During Your Recovery. After a wrist fracture procedure, your doctor will give you specific instructions for managing pain and swelling during the recovery process. These may include elevating the arm, applying ice, and taking pain medication. Following post-treatment instructions is instrumental to ensuring the best possible recovery.

  6. After Any Wrist Fracture Procedure, It Is Important To Look Out For Certain Symptoms. Certain symptoms during recovery can be indicative of complications that may need a doctor’s attention. Your doctor will give you a full list of things to look for, including excessive pain or swelling after surgery.

  7. Recovery May Continue For Up To Two Years. Even after a cast or splint is removed, patients can expect to experience some wrist stiffness, which will improve gradually for up to two years after the procedure. During this time, physical therapy can be helpful to regain strength and flexibility.

  8. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Doctors Have Extensive Experience Treating Wrist Fractures. If you are in or around the Philadelphia area, turn to the physicians at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. Our team of wrist specialists have in-depth experience treating wrist fractures of all kinds, and they can provide you with the expert, compassionate care that you need.

  9. You Don’t Have To Be In Philadelphia For Wrist Fracture Treatment From Rothman Orthopaedic Institute.  Even if you do not live in the heart of Philadelphia, experience wrist fracture treatments are nearby! We have over 20 conveniently located regional offices, so you can get the help that you need close to home.

  10. You Can Reduce Your Risk Of Needing A Wrist Fracture Procedure With Simple Preventive Practices. Although many wrist fractures occur during accidents, you can reduce your risks through simple preventive practices, such as:

  • Wearing wrist guards during high-risk activities like skating or snowboarding

  • Wearing sensible shoes and avoiding slippery surfaces

  • Eating a nutritious diet with sufficient calcium and vitamin D to promote healthy bones

For more information, please visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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