Best Treatments for a Distal Radius Fracture on Long Island
The phrase wrist fracture may sound complicated, but it’s actually the medical term for a broken wrist. The wrist itself is made up of eight small bones that connect the hand to the radius and ulna–the two bones of the forearm—and a wrist fracture can happen to any of these ten bones including the ends of the radius or ulna.
The most common type of wrist fracture actually occurs at the end of the radius, a type of break that is called a distal radius fracture.
What causes a distal radius fracture?
While traumatic incidents such as motor vehicle crashes—car or motorcycle—or falling from a height such as a ladder can cause severe injuries, the most common cause of distal radius fractures is a simple fall.
When we fall, we instinctively put out a hand to try to break the fall, and this in turn often breaks the wrist instead. This is especially true in older people, who may have weakened bones due to osteoporosis or other causes.
What are the signs and symptoms of a distal radius fracture?
As with most fractures, a broken wrist usually results in pain and swelling. It is usually difficult or even impossible to move the hand or use it, although this isn’t always the case.
If you’ve suffered a distal radius fracture, you will probably experience the following:
- Pain in your wrist, immediately after the fracture occurs
- Pain that is worse if you try to move the wrist or hand
- Tenderness to the touch
- Swelling and bruising
You may also hear an audible cracking or snapping sound, and your wrist may be visibly misshapen, depending on the severity of the break.
What are the best treatments for a distal radius fracture?
The best treatment for a distal radius fracture depends on many different factors. A distal radius fracture may need surgical repair, or, depending on the type and severity of the fracture, may be effectively treated without surgery.
The best treatment for your particular injury depends on a variety of things including:
- The type of fracture: displaced, unstable, and open (where the bone has broken through the skin) fractures require different care.
- Personal factors: Your age, job, hobbies, activity level, and whether it is your dominant hand all play a role in choosing the proper treatment.
- Your overall general health
- Presence of other injuries
Non-surgical treatments for a broken distal radius commonly include:
- Closed reduction (“setting” the bone) by an orthopedic specialist. This moves displaced pieces of the broken bone back into their correct positions.
- A cast or splint to keep the forearm immobile
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation
- Physical therapy to restore strength to the forearm muscles and range of motion to the wrist
In some cases, surgery may be necessary in order to reposition the broken bones and keep them stable and in their proper position while they heal.
Where can I find treatment for a distal radius fracture on Long Island?
Mirza Orthopedics is the premier orthopedic hand, wrist, elbow & shoulder center on Long Island. We serve active patients of all ages from Suffolk County, Nassau County and beyond. We offer a minimally-invasive treatment for distal radius fractures; this cutting-edge alternative uses a versatile fixator called the CPX, a device developed by Dr. Ather Mirza. The CPX provides flexibility and simplicity in maintaining the proper positioning of small pins as the broken wrist bones heal.
If you think you may have suffered a distal radius fracture, prompt medical attention and evaluation is imperative. Contact Mirza Orthopedics today and schedule an appointment with the Long Island orthopedic practice that specializes in distal radius fracture treatment.