What causes a wrist fracture?
A wrist fracture occurs when one of the bones in the wrist is broken in any place. These injuries vary considerably in severity.
Wrist fractures involve one of three bones:
The most common cause of all of these fractures is a fall on your hand. Other common causes include car accidents and blows to the hand during a sporting event.
What are the symptoms of a wrist fracture?
The most common symptom of a wrist fracture is pain in your wrist following some sort of trauma. You may also experience swelling, stiffness, redness, and limited mobility in your wrist after a fracture.
Do all wrist fractures require surgery?
Not all wrist fractures require surgery. Some smaller fractures may heal on their own if you rest your wrist, keep it immobile, and take medication for pain and swelling.
More complex fractures, though, may require surgical repair. The purpose of the surgery is to stabilize the fracture and make sure that it heals properly.
To determine whether your fracture requires surgery, Dr. Weinheimer performs a thorough physical exam. He also orders x-rays and possibly scans to look at the inside of your wrist and evaluate the fracture directly. If Dr. Weinheimer believes surgery is necessary for your fracture, he explains why you need the procedure and how it can help your wrist injury heal.
What are the risks?
Wrist fracture surgery carries risks like most other surgical procedures, including:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Postoperative pain
- Infection at the surgical site
- Damage to surrounding tissues
In some cases, surgery may not be successful, and you may continue experiencing symptoms even after your recovery period. However, as an experienced hand and upper extremity surgeon, Dr. Weinheimer knows how to perform these procedures as safely and effectively as possible. When considering the risks, keep in mind that failing to have a wrist fracture repaired when you need it may leave you with chronic pain and disability.
How fast do patients recover from wrist fracture surgery?
Most patients will go home the day of surgery. Most patients can resume their normal activities within four to six weeks. Before scheduling your surgery, Dr. Weinheimer explains your expected recovery time, as well as the instructions you must follow while you heal. Following all these instructions carefully ensures that you recover from the procedure as quickly as possible.