Treating Wrist Fractures
A wrist fracture, or broken wrist, is a break in one or more of the bones in the wrist. If you believe you have broken your wrist, you should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible after the injury to reduce the risk of further damage.
At UPMC, our orthopedic doctors are experienced in caring for patients with all types of wrist fractures. Our specialists and surgeons offer personalized and compassionate care to help you get back to daily activities without pain.
Wrist Fracture Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of wrist fractures may include:
- Pain made worse by movement or use of the hand or fingers
- Numbness in the hand or fingers
- Obvious deformity in the wrist area
A wrist fracture is usually the result of a fall (often from landing on an outstretched hand) or a blow to the wrist. People at higher risk of a wrist fracture include people who participate in activities that can cause falls and those who have osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. A broken wrist is a common winter injury, as people can slip on icy surfaces and fall.
Wrist Fracture Treatment at UPMC
A wrist fracture should be immobilized as quickly as possible.
For most wrist bone fractures, the bone is set in place and a cast or splint is applied. This is usually worn for a few weeks.
However for some wrist fractures, surgery is needed to align and stabilize the injured bone before a cast can be applied, although the wrist should be immobilized while you wait for surgery.
Wrist Fracture Recovery & Prevention
After the cast or splint is removed, you will be given some exercises or be advised to see a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles in your hand. Recovery from wrist fractures can take weeks or months, depending on the severity of the injury.
Wrist fractures may be prevented by wearing wrist guards when participating in activities that can lead to falls, such as skateboarding. If you live in a cold-weather area, you can reduce your risk of falls during winter by wearing boots with sturdy treads or removable crampons that grip the ice as you walk.
At UPMC, orthopedic doctors provide exceptional care to treat wrist fractures in Williamsport, Wellsboro, and Muncy, PA.