The Most Common Bone Fractures in Adults
A common injury in all ages, wrist fractures are a frequent sight in any Emergency Department. It often occurs when a person trips and falls on an outstretched hand, leading to a fracture of the forearm bones hear the wrist (known as the radius and ulna). It is important to have this assessed and treated properly, as fractures that do not set appropriately can cause problems with movement of the wrist and pain. This can cause functional disability of the hand and can even result in osteoarthritis.
HAVE I INJURED MY WRIST
If a person falls on their wrist, they are likely to have a lot of pain and swelling in the area. Sometimes they may also notice a deformity of the wrist, and difficulty using the hand. In these cases it is important to go to the Emergency Department and have the injury assessed as soon as possible. Fractures can cause injury to the surrounding vessels and nerves, and this can have a serious consequence on the hand later down the line.
In the Emergency Department your injury will be examined and you will receive an X-Ray. It is better to not eat and drink between the injury and getting assessed, asn you might need an anaesthetic. You may support the injured arm in a sling made by soft clothing or a towel, going around your neck.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
After the assessment the doctors may choose to put your hand in a plaster cast, with our without an operation or anaesthetic. The cast will keep the bones in your arm in the correct alignment until it heals. This may take up to 6 weeks. After the treatment you may require physiotherapy to regain strength in your hand and wrist.
Sometimes the doctor may choose to operate on your wrist bones. This can happen if the fracture involves the joint. In this case they will fix the bone in place with metalwork to keep it in the best position for healing. In elderly people the fracture may be due to weakened bones (osteoporosis), which will require bone protection treatment.
It can be tricky to choose between operative and non operative treatment, and it can be difficult to understand the risks and benefits of both. At these times it may be useful to get a second opinion. To learn more about your condition you may ask our UK based Orthopaedic Specialists by visiting us at secondmedic.com
Dr Rakesh Choudhary
MBBS, MS, FRCS, FRCS Trauma and Orthopaedics, MCh Orthopaedics
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. UK
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