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Wrist fracture is a medical term used to describe a broken wrist bone. Wrist is composed of 8 small carpal bones and lower ends of the two forearm bones - Radius & Ulna. The fracture may occur in any of the 10 bones that make up the wrist. While some fractures can be severe, most fractures are tiny in nature. The fractures, which are severe, tend to render the bone unstable and a cure for this condition might require a surgery. Open fractures occur when the broken bone spike juts out through the skin. This might lead to an infection in the wounded region.
Causes of Wrist Fracture
- The most basic cause of a wrist fracture is injury. Any fall on your outstretched hand (FOOSH) and you might have to nurse a fractured wrist. This type of fracture is common among sportsmen.
- People suffering from osteoporosis have a high risk of getting a wrist fracture.
- Traumatic accidents might also cause severe wrist fractures.
- Repetitive use of wrists leads to inflammation of the tendons present in the wrists (tendonitis).
Symptoms of Wrist Fracture
A wrist fracture has symptoms that can be extremely painful. The pain escalates whenever you try to move your wrist or flex it, even if you are just flexing your fingers. Sometimes your hand or arm may even become extremely numb when you fracture the wrist. The muscles in the area become tender and swell up. It is almost impossible to move the wrist after it gets fractured. The fracture causes the wrist or rather the hand to appear deformed. The most common deformity being a Dinner fork deformity (Colles' Fracture). The area around the fracture may experience bruising and a fractured wrist also affects the blood flow in the area. You might even injure your ligaments, tendons, muscles or nerves.
To confirm and check the level of severity, you are generally asked to get an X-Ray done. In order to get a more detailed look at the fracture, you might have to undergo CT or MRI scans as well. Usually, in order to treat a fracture, you will have to wear a splint or a cast and move your hand as least as possible. But keep moving your fingers otherwise they might get stiff.
Most cases of wrist fractures recover well with a very good return to function.
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