What You Need to Know About Treatment for a Distal Radius Fracture
The wrist is a complex joint, made up of the radius and ulna (the lower arm bones), eight small carpal bones and numerous ligaments. We rely heavily on our wrists in day-to-day activities, but we seldom think much about them unless we injure them.
Wrist injuries are especially common during the winter months. Falls are one of the most frequent causes of wrist injuries, and slick conditions such as snow and ice make falls much more likely. A fall onto an outstretched hand is one of the leading causes of a distal radius fracture, in which the distal end of the radius—or the end farthest from the body—is broken. The radius is the larger of the two lower arm bones and it’s located on the thumb side of your arm.
In this blog, the distal radius fracture treatment specialists at Mirza Orthopedics in Long Island will explain what you need to know about treatment for a distal radius fracture.
What are the types of distal radius fractures?
There are a number of different types of fractures that can happen and an examination by a Long Island wrist specialist is the first step to determining exactly what type of fracture has occurred in your case. Fractures usually occur an inch or so from the end of the bone.
Types of distal radius fractures include:
- Colles fracture – When this type of fracture happens, the broken part of the radius tilts upwards, distorting the shape of your wrist. This is one of the most common types of distal radius fracture.
- Intra-articular fracture – “Articular” means having to do with a joint, and in an intra-articular fracture, the fracture extends beyond the end of the radius and into the wrist joint.
- Extra-articular fracture – In this case, the fracture does not extend into the joint.
- Open fracture – In open fractures, the broken bone extends through the skin. This is also known as a compound fracture.
- Comminuted fracture – In this case, the bone breaks into more than two pieces.
- Distal ulna fracture – This sometimes happens in conjunction with a distal radius fracture. Both of the lower arm bones, the radius and the ulna, are fractured.
In some cases, the pieces of bone can also be displaced, meaning that the broken pieces of bone don’t line up straight. This is a more complex type of distal radius fracture.
Can a distal radius fracture be treated without surgery?
If the fracture is not too complex or severe, conservative treatment may be the best option. Conservative treatment for a distal radius fracture typically includes repositioning the broken bone and splinting the forearm or enclosing it in a cast. You may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medications to help with the pain. Once the splint or cast comes off, you will probably need to complete a physical therapy program to ensure proper healing. Consultation with a doctor specializing in distal radius fractures is the first step to understanding what type of treatment is best for your specific needs.
What’s involved with surgical treatment for a distal radius fracture?
In some cases, you may need to undergo surgery to restore the broken bones to their proper position and hold them there as they heal. Mirza Orthopedics offers a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of distal radius fractures using a cutting-edge fixator called the CPX. Designed and developed by Dr. Ather Mirza, this innovative device maintains precise positioning of small pins that hold the broken bones in place as they heal, while providing flexibility and simplicity. It also results in less soft tissue trauma than typical procedures.
In addition, the CPX improves recovery times for patients, and allows for earlier mobilization of the wrist. This lets you get back to your daily activities sooner.
Looking for distal radius fracture treatment in Long Island?
Prompt evaluation and medical treatment are critical if you’ve suffered from a distal radius fracture. To learn more about treatment for a distal radius fracture, contact Mirza Orthopedics today for a consultation with one of our experienced wrist specialists.