A broken wrist occurs when a lower portion of the arm (ulna or radius) becomes fractured. It can also include one or more of the eight carpal bones in the hand. Both the ulna and the radius can break simultaneously, but more often than not only the largest bone (radius) breaks.
A broken wrist and/or hand most often occurs when people attempt to break a fall, but it also happens as a result of vehicle accidents, sporting activities and crushing injuries. Osteoporosis is a major risk factor, and it is not unheard of for an elderly person to break both wrists at once.
The symptoms of a broken wrist may include:
A broken wrist or a broken hand is a crack or break in one or more bones in the hand or wrist. These injuries are commonly caused by people leaning hard on an outstretched hand or trying to catch themselves during a fall.
A crushing injury or a direct blow to your wrist or hands can break any of the bones in them.
There are also risk factors such as having a bone-thinning disease like osteoporosis, which can increase your chances of breaking a hand or a wrist. Participating in certain sports activities such as football, horseback riding, rugby, hockey, skiing and jumping on a trampoline can also expose you to a higher risk of breaking your wrist or bones.
It is imperative that medical treatment begins immediately for proper alignment and healing. Imaging is necessary to confirm a broken wrist/broken hand. It can affect strength, range of motion and the ability to perform simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt should it heal incorrectly.
Physical therapy is sometimes necessary after the removal of the splint or cast. Healing of the bone can take up to four months. Severe breaks can take several months to completely heal.
If you have osteoporosis, treat the condition directly with calcium supplements or with medicines. Try to minimize the pressure applied on the already affected bones.
Practicing safety tips to avoid unnecessary falling can significantly prevent broken wrists and bones.