The forearm contains two bones – the radius and the ulna – and the radius bone is the larger of the two. When a traumatic injury involving the wrist occurs, the radius bone is particularly susceptible to breaking, leading to severe pain and impaired movement. A fracture of the distal radius occurs when the distal end of the radius bone (the end that’s closest to the wrist) breaks.
At Mirza Orthopedics on Long Island, our orthopedists are leaders in providing distal radius fracture treatment, as well as treatment for all types of broken wrist injuries. Whether your wrist fracture can be treated with nonsurgical options or is more advanced and requires surgery, Dr. Ather Mirza and Dr. Justin Mirza will tailor a treatment plan for your needs.
For those patients requiring distal radius fracture surgery, Mirza Orthopedics offers a cutting-edge cross-pin fixator called the CPX, a proprietary device that Dr. Ather Mirza developed. The A.M. Surgical CPX device offers patients an unobtrusive treatment option that realigns broken bones with minimal soft tissue trauma and early wrist mobilization. To receive treatment for a distal radius fracture, schedule an appointment using the form on this page.
What causes distal radius fractures?
Distal radius fractures are caused by an injury to the distal end of the radius bone, often due to falling on an outstretched arm or experiencing a direct blow to the wrist. Wrist fractures in healthy bones are more likely to result from direct trauma, such as a sports-related injury or car accident, whereas bones with osteoporosis can suffer from a distal radius fracture more easily (e.g. a fall from a standing position).
Distal radius fractures almost always occur around one inch from the end of the bone, however, there are different types of distal radius fractures depending on how the break occurs.
- Colles Fracture – One of the most common types of distal radius fracture, a Colles fracture occurs when the broken fragment of the radius is tilted upwards.
- Intra-articular Fracture – A type of distal radius fracture that extends into the wrist joint.
- Extra-articular Fracture – A type of distal radius fracture that does not extend into the wrist joint.
- Open Fracture – A distal radius fracture that involves bone breaking through the skin.
- Comminuted Fracture – A more complex distal radius fracture that involves the breaking of the bone into more than two pieces.
- Distal Ulna Fracture – A wrist fracture involving breaks in both the distal radius and the ulna bone.
You may be more likely to experience a distal radius fracture if:
- You are over the age of 60
- You have osteoporosis
- You participate in sports or activities where falls or trauma to the wrist are common, such as skiing, roller blading, ice hockey, and bike riding (particularly if you are not wearing protective wrist guards)
What are the symptoms of a distal radius fracture?
If you have suffered from a distal radius fracture, you will likely experience:
- Immediate wrist pain
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- An audible snap or cracking sound
- Tenderness in the wrist
- Swelling and bruising
- Visible deformity in the wrist, including a wrist that hangs in a bent or out-of-place position
What does treatment for a distal radius fracture entail?
Some cases of distal radius fractures can be effectively treated without surgery, so long as it is not a severe or complex fracture. Your orthopedic physician will determine the appropriate treatment for your needs depending on a number of factors, including the type of distal radius fracture, your age, and your activity level.
Nonsurgical treatments for a broken distal radius commonly include:
- Closed reduction by an orthopedic specialist for repositioning the broken wrist bones back into their proper positions
- Immobilizing the forearm with a plaster cast or splint
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications
- Completing a physical therapy or rehabilitation program to restore strength and range of motion to the wrist
In some cases of distal radius fractures, a patient may need to undergo surgery in order to reposition the broken bones and hold them in the proper place during healing.
How is distal radius fracture treatment at Mirza Orthopedics different?
Mirza Orthopedics is pleased to offer a cutting-edge, minimally invasive alternative for the treatment of distal radius fractures utilizing 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.
In addition to the advantages provided by the CPX fixator during the treatment of a distal radius fracture, this innovative device means improved patient recovery outcomes as well, including:
- Early wrist mobilization
- Return to daily activities sooner
- Minimal soft tissue trauma
- CPX is typically removed in 5 to 6 weeks
If you believe you have suffered from a distal radius fracture, prompt medical evaluation and treatment are critical. Contact Mirza Orthopedics today to schedule an appointment at the Long Island orthopedic practice that specializes in distal radius fracture treatment.