by Courtney Gittins

Injuries to the hand, wrist, and fingers account for over 10% of all visits to the emergency room. 

Your wrist is made up of eight bones in two rows between the bones in your hand and forearm. The bones are held together by fibrous bands of ligaments. Injuries to the wrist can involve soft tissue and/or the bones. A broken wrist most commonly occurs when you fall and brace yourself with an outstretched arm. A wrist fracture may also be caused by sports injuries and car accidents. Your age and bone quality affect the likelihood of breaking your wrist. You are more likely to break a bone if you have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile from loss of protein and minerals. It typically stems from hormonal changes or deficiency in calcium or vitamin D.

If you have a broken wrist you might experience the symptoms listed below:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity (bent wrist)
  • Numbness
  • Inability to move wrist or fingers
  • Pain that alters gripped or squeezing

Treatment for a wrist fracture can range from a splint to surgery. If the fracture is displaced and the doctor is unable to reduce it, surgery may be required to realign the bones and ensure they stay in place.

If you or someone you know think they may have broken their wrist, they should seek medical attention, especially if there is numbness, swelling, or difficulty moving your fingers or wrist.

Need a referral? OrthoNeuro has 5 orthopedic surgeons who treat wrist injuries.


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