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Physical Therapy For Fractures Of The Arm And Wrist

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WHAT IS A WRIST FRACTURE?

A wrist fracture, also known as a broken wrist, is the most common type of broken bone in the arm. In many cases, the injury is due to a sports injury or an accident, which causes the bone to move in an unnatural way, either cracking or breaking completely. When wrist fractures can heal without surgery, PT may be prescribed as a non-surgical treatment option to help you regain function of the affected wrist as the bone repairs itself. In addition, rehabilitation of a wrist following surgical treatment for a wrist fracture is necessary.

There are various types of wrist fractures that can occur, including:

  • Distal radius fractures
  • Colles fractures (one type of distal radius fracture)
  • Distal ulna fractures
  • Scaphoid fractures

WHAT CAUSES A WRIST FRACTURE?

A wrist fracture can occur in any number of situations, but is typically the result of falling on an outstretched arm or suffering from a direct blow to the wrist or arm. Additionally, while a wrist fracture can happen to anyone, the following risk factors may make a wrist fracture more likely:

  • Being over the age of 60
  • Having osteoporosis, which weakens the bones
  • Playing contact sports or participating in activities in which falls or trauma to the wrist are more likely (e.g. skiing, skating, biking)

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A WRIST FRACTURE?

The symptoms of a broken wrist will vary from patient to patient, depending on the type and location of the fracture, along with other factors. The symptoms associated with a wrist fracture may include the following:

  • Wrist pain that increases with wrist movement
  • Inability to move wrist
  • Swelling in wrist
  • Tenderness in wrist
  • Numbness in wrist
  • Visible deformity of wrist
  • Discoloration of wrist or hand, in severe fractures

In less complex cases of wrist fractures, conservative treatments such as closed reduction and casting or splinting may be indicated. In more severe or complex cases, a wrist fracture may require surgery for proper repair and healing. In either case, PT is often recommended for patients following a wrist fracture, whether they have been through surgery or not. This is especially true when returning to sports or other activities that involve the wrist. Our team can work with you to determine the best treatment plan and help you get back to the activities you love.

If you are suffering from a wrist fracture, visit one of our locations. We are open six days a week and accept walk-ins so you can come in anytime. If you would prefer to schedule an appointment in advance, you can fill out the form on this page.