Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
You may not realize just how much you rely on your hands until suddenly one is out of commission. Even performing the most basic tasks, such as getting dressed, making coffee or going to the bathroom, become major undertakings when the work of two hands is delegated to one.
Unfortunately, many of our patients at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics discover this struggle at one point or another. Wrist fractures are one of the ten most common injuries in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
What is a wrist fracture?
The wrist is comprised of ten bones, any one of which is subject to fracture. The radius, however, is the most typical bone to break. The radius is one of two forearm bones (the one on the thumb-side of the forearm).
You might think a wrist fracture is obvious (and, of course, some are), but that’s not always the case. A sprained but unbroken wrist is sometimes more painful than an actual fracture. Either way, you should see your primary care provider or Houston sports medicine doctor immediately if you sustain a wrist injury that causes pain or swelling, is tender to the touch, or results in tingling or numbness in the fingertips.
How is a wrist fracture diagnosed?
At Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, your health care provider will evaluate your wrist and ask about your medical history. An imaging test – typically an x-ray – may be called for. In some cases, an MRI or CT scan may be necessary, especially if the fracture is believed to have affected soft tissues. (Learn more about these tests.)
How are wrist fractures treated?
Your Houston sports medicine doctor’s treatment plan will be custom tailored to your particular fracture, as well as your home and occupational needs. If the break is in your dominant hand, for example, then that may affect the treatment plan. In many cases, a cast or splint may be used to hold a reset fracture in place, allowing the bones time to knit themselves back together. In other cases, surgery may be required. You can learn more here about fracture care, including types of fractures and treatments that are available at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.
Houston Sports Medicine Doctor for Wrist Fracture
In the event of an emergency, see an urgent care facility or emergency room for treatment. In other cases, consider scheduling an appointment at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment with a Houston sports medicine physician online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.