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Broken Wrist

(Distal Radius/Scaphoid Fractures)

What is a Broken Wrist?

The bones of the forearm (radius and ulna) extend to the wrist and carpal bone that comprise the wrist joint.  The larger of these two bones is known as the distal radius and this is the bone that is most often affected by a wrist fracture, also referred to as a broken wrist.  This injury is most often caused by a high impact or a fall onto an outstretched hand. Although most Wrist Fractures occur in the distal radius, the fracture itself can have many variations including:

Intra-articular fracture. A fracture that extends into the wrist joint. 

Extra-articular fracture. A fracture that does not extend into the joint.

Open fracture. When a fractured bone breaks the skin.  These types of fractures require immediate medical attention because of the risk for infection.

Comminuted fracture. When a bone is broken into more than two pieces.

Patients who sustain a Wrist Fracture may experience the following symptoms:

  • Pain on the other side of the wrist
  • Swelling
  • Bruising 
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • A visible deformity in the wrist

At OSS Health, our Board Certified Hand and Wrist Specialists have helped thousands of patients with Wrist Fractures live active and healthy lives using the latest non-surgical options.

How is a Broken Wrist Treated at OSS Health?

The treatment options for Wrist Fractures are based on the location of the fracture as well as what type of fracture has been sustained.  Your OSS Health Hand and Wrist Specialist will determine what treatment options are best for you based on X-Rays and the severity of symptoms.

At OSS Health non-surgical treatment options may include:

  • Rest
  • Bracing
  • A soft or solid cast
  • Physical Therapy

In the instance that the fracture is severe or is causing instability in the wrist, your OSS Health Specialist may recommend a surgical procedure to fix the fracture.

During the procedure:

  1. The distal radius and any other bones  within the wrist are placed back into the correct position.
  2. Small plates and screws are used to keep the bones in place while the fracture(s) heal.
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