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Fracture Wrist - Hand

Symptoms Checklist:

  • Your pain came on suddenly
  • You had a sharp blow to the wrist or a sudden wrenching movement
  • You may have fallen on an outstretched hand
  • The wrist may be swollen, hot and painful
  • The wrist may look or feel deformed
  • You are unable to put any pressure on the wrist
  • The pain is spread throughout the wrist
  • You are unable to tighten your grip


A fracture is another name for a break in the bone.  There are 8 bones in the wrist joining the bones of the hand and arm, and these are held together by ligaments.  The wrist joint is designed in such a way as to allow great flexibility and strength. This flexibility must be severely limited in order for your fracture to heal after a break, and often a plaster cast is required running from the hand to the elbow.  As with most broken bones, once held immobile in a rigid plaster, the bone is capable of healing itself.  In fact the join will be even stronger than the original!  During this time the muscles of the knee and leg will waste. This wasting process begins immediately.  In the case of a severe blow and fracture, it is likely that you will suffer additional damage to the knee.  Fractures are normally diagnosed by x-ray. See also: Ligament Tear Ligament Sprain Meniscus

Physical Therapy/Osteopathy and Wrist Fracture

Once the fracture is diagnosed, (usually by x-ray) it is a good idea to visit your Therapist who will show you exercises that will keep your joints mobile while they are in plaster.  When the fracture has healed and the plaster is removed, you will need to visit your Therapist to learn how to rebuild the muscles and regain full fitness.   The Therapist can help by gently massaging the affected area to improve circulation and reduce any swelling.  You will also be shown exercises to strengthen the specific muscles and your therapist will advise you if one group of muscles is becoming over-developed at the expense of another group.  Maintaining and restoring muscle balance is the most important part of your return to fitness.

Tags: Hands, Wrists, Fracture, Sports Injuries


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