What to Do When You Break Your Wrist

What to Do When You Break Your Wrist

A broken wrist is one of the most common types of broken bones.

When bracing yourself for a fall, or impact, you usually use your arms as first reaction. If you fall and end up with a  broken wrist (or Colles’ fracture), OSR is able to help you out.

Colles’ fractures, named for the Irish surgeon who first described them in 1814, involve a break in the large bone of your forearm, close to the end where the bone connects with the wrist. Usually caused by a fall, Colles’ fractures are also common in sports that require a great deal of forward momentum, such as skiing, skating and biking. They also occur in people with osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Poor muscle strength, low muscle mass and a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D put you at greater risk for a Colles’ fracture.

There are actually four different types of Colles’ fractures:

In an extra-articular fracture, the break doesn’t extend into the wrist joint.

In an intra-articular fracture, the break extends into the wrist joint.

In an open fracture, the bone pierces the skin.

In a comminuted fracture, the bone splinters into more than two pieces.

The type of Colles’ fracture you sustain determines the type of treatment you get for your wrist. Complicated breaks may need surgery, while simpler breaks can be treated with a splint or cast, elevation, ice and rest.

A wrist fracture can take from several months to more than a year to fully heal, but a good physical therapy program involving stretching and strengthening exercises can usually help reduce pain and stiffness and increase range of motion in your fingers, wrist and elbow. Weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging, can strengthen the bones in the lower half of your body, while strength-training routines, such as weight-lifting, can do the same for your upper body. Both will go a long way toward preventing falls that might result in a Colles’ fracture.

With pain-free exercise as part of the Oahu Spine and Rehab rehabilitation program, you can have your wrist back in action, more flexible and stronger than before. Let OSR help you gain your full range of motion back to get that wrist as good as new!

Call us today to set up an appointment  at 808-488-5555!


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