Getting Your Hand Moving After a Fractured Wrist

A fractured wrist can bring your life to a screeching halt. Unfortunately , the wrist is also one of the most commonly broken bones in the body. There are four main kinds of wrist fractures which include:

  • Compound or open fractures: a complicated break that may also damage the surrounding skin
  • Simple or closed fractures: breaks that may be easily treated with little damage to the surrounding tissue
  • Comminuted: this type of fracture means that the bone has broken into several pieces
  • Greenstick: a greenstick fracture is where the bone is bent but not broken

What does a fractured wrist feel like?

It’s no surprise that a fractured wrist is painful.   Some common symptoms may include:

  • Pain, especially when flexing the wrist
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity of the wrist, causing it to look bent or crooked
  • Numbness
  • Loss of grip and strength

At Desert Hand Therapy, we make the health of your hands our priority.  Schedule an appointment today to learn about preventative tips, effective hand exercises or to treat a hand injury.

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Common causes of a fractured wrist may include:

  • Sports injuries: a fractured wrist can be caused during contact sports or a sport where you may fall onto an outstretched hand—such as snowboarding, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc.
  • Falls:  one of the most common causes of a fractured wrist is falling onto an outstretched hand
  • Illnesses & conditions that may weaken the bones may cause a higher risk of fractures
  • Motor vehicle crashes:  high-velocity injuries that can happen during an auto accident may cause the wrist or bones in the hand to fracture into multiple  pieces.  This usually requires surgical repair.

This is where Desert Hand Therapy steps in

Hand therapy after a fractured wrist will typically start  once the cast is removed—approximately six weeks after the fracture has occurred. At this point in time, the wrist is well into the healing process.  Before you begin physical therapy, your doctor will evaluate the bone to make sure it’s safe enough to start.  If you start too soon, you risk injuring your  wrist all over again.

Your hand therapist will work alongside you to incorporate treatments such as:

  • Reducing pain with warm or cold therapeutic treatments to help control pain or swelling in your wrist, arm, or hand
  • Manual therapy to relieve stiffness and enable your joints and muscles to move freely with less pain
  • Increasing your strength and ability to move through passive range-of-motion exercises, active range-of-motion exercises, and resistance exercises
  • Teaching you how to perform your daily activities

The benefits of therapy for a fractured wrist include:

  • Restored muscle strength, mobility and function lost after an injury
  • Activities, stretches, and exercises build stronger, denser bones
  • Prevention of future injuries
  • Improved bone density with low-impact exercises like swimming
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