Wrist Fracture Treatment in Lafayette, LA – See a Physician to Ensure Proper Healing
A wrist fracture is a crack or break in any of the bones that comprise the wrist, such as a large forearm bone (radius or ulna) or a small wrist bone (carpal bone). This type of injury can occur after a direct blow to the wrist or a fall onto an outstretched hand. Wrist fractures are very common, particularly among athletes or individuals who have weakened bones due to osteoporosis.
What are the signs of a broken wrist?
In addition to pain that worsens when the wrist is flexed, the symptoms of a wrist fracture can include:
- A visible deformity, such as an abnormal bend to the wrist
How is a wrist fracture treated?
With appropriate positioning and immobilization, a wrist fracture can potentially mend on its own. However, to ensure proper healing, it is important to see a physician right away. Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana, can determine whether a broken wrist bone is in the correct position and, if not, reset it.
After the broken bone is properly positioned, wrist fracture treatment may involve:
- Splinting – A splint may be worn until the swelling subsides and a full cast can be applied.
- Casting – A fractured wrist may be immobilized in a cast for several weeks to stabilize the broken bone as it mends.
- Imaging – X-rays may be taken periodically throughout the healing process to confirm that the broken bone is positioned properly.
To improve comfort during recovery, it may be helpful to:
- Elevate the wrist – Supporting the arm on a pillow to hold it above heart level can ease pain and swelling.
- Apply ice packs – Ice can be applied to the painful area for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours as needed to alleviate swelling.
- Take over-the-counter medications – Many effective pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are available without a prescription.
- Perform physical therapy – Physician-recommended exercises can be performed to prevent stiffness and weakness by stretching and strengthening the muscles in the fingers, hand, arm, and shoulder.
Dr. Vizzi may discuss surgical treatment for a wrist fracture if he believes the broken bone will not heal well with a cast alone. Surgery may involve the placement of pins, plates, screws, or other hardware to hold the bone in the proper position as it mends.
If you believe you may have fractured your wrist, contact Dr. Vizzi’s office in Lafayette, LA, to request an appointment. Dr. Vizzi can evaluate your injury and review your treatment options.