Wrist fractures and injuries can lead to significant impairment and loss of function. While many injuries can be treated without surgery, surgical repair may be indicated and recommended to help accelerate recovery and maximize the chance of a successful recovery.
At Palm Beach Hand to Shoulder, we are experienced in diagnosing and treating the whole spectrum of wrist injuries and disorders. To schedule a consultation and determine a proper treatment plan for your case, please call (561) 746-7686 or submit an online appointment request form.
FAQs on Wrist Fractures and Injuries
What are some possible consequences of having sustained a wrist injury?
- Fractures that do not heal properly can lead to deformity, pain, stiffness, and loss of grip strength, necessitating more complex reconstruction than if the fracture is repaired when it occurs.
- Fractures in which the break does not heal, or which involve the joint and cartilage can result in post-traumatic arthritis. So can soft tissue injuries that were not evaluated by a specialist.
- Some patients can develop carpal tunnel syndrome after a wrist injury. This condition often requires surgical release of the nerve.
With the expertise of an experienced, dedicated upper extremity surgeon, the majority of wrist fractures will heal uneventfully and result in a good outcome.
Are there different types of wrist fractures and injuries?
Yes. Examples of different wrist fractures and injuries include the following:
- Distal radius fractures. These are the most common type of wrist injury needing formal care. Among the general population, the incidence of distal radius fractures peaks twice - once in childhood and adolescence, and again in people over 50. In children and young adults, the most common causes of wrist fractures are sports or road traffic accidents. In the senior population, most wrist fractures occur after a fall, with osteoporosis increasing the risk of patients experiencing bone fractures. (If you have sustained a distal radius fracture and would like more information, or if you are being treated for a wrist fracture by Dr. Diaz please review Recovering from Wrist Fractures.)
- Scaphoid fractures and scapholunate ligament injuries. This type of injury often occurs when one falls onto an outstretched hand. Injuries to the scaphoid (a small, peanut-shaped bone on the thumb side of the wrist) or its adjacent ligament need to be addressed in a timely fashion. A delay in care can result in painful, disabling arthritis that often requires more involved surgical reconstruction. Patients with significant wrist pain, swelling, or deformity after a fall onto an outstretched hand or other accident should have an evaluation with an upper extremity specialist.
- Triangular fibrocartilage complex tears. The triangular fibrocartilage is a shock-absorbing and stabilizing structure on the small finger side of the wrist. Tears in this part of the wrist result from physical injury, i.e. when a person overextends, over-rotates, or falls on their wrist/hand. Symptoms include pain with forearm rotation, pain while pushing off something with your wrist, or feelings of the wrist giving way.
- Overuse injuries (such as tendinitis or De Quervain syndrome). Many occupations or recreational activities involve repetitive wrist motion that can lead to tendinitis. In the digital age, regularly swiping or scrolling on a smartphone or tablet can also predispose to these conditions. Chronic swelling or wrist pain should be reported to a specialist.
There are many types of wrist injuries with different treatment needs. What they have in common is that with the expertise of an experienced, dedicated upper extremity surgeon, the majority of wrist injuries will heal uneventfully and result in a good outcome. For more information on recovering from wrist fractures, click here.
Because wrist injuries affect each individual differently, please contact us at (561) 746-7686 or submit an online appointment request form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Diaz.