Physiotherapy Portal

Wrist Fractures

Posted by Stuart Fossella on Saturday, November 24, 2012

X-Ray of Colles fracture at the wrist

Fractures of the Wrist

Falls onto an outstretched wrist can result in wrist fractures. These can occur in either of the bones of the forearm. Either the Radius or Ulna.

The most common fractures are known as a Colles’ or Smith’s. Fractures can also occur at the smaller joints of the wrist, typically at the Scaphoid.

Treatment initially consists of a period immobilisation with plastering or in more severe cases surgery to pin the break.

Physiotherapy should begin ASAP after plaster cast has been removed and is targeted at reducing joint stiffness, and improving strength and function.

Check out the following link for a 3D image of the wrist joint Healthline

Wrist fractures tend to be more common with advancing age due to an increase incidence of falls and potential of Osteoporosis

Clinical Signs

  • Sudden onset of pain +/- swelling after a fall or knock.
  • Sometimes an obvious deformity will be noticeable.
  • Inability to move the wrist for pain.

Treatment

  • Physiotherapy will commence when a patient is removed from cast or if surgery has taken place when a surgeon gives the go ahead.
  • Treatment is targeted towards restoring function at the wrist by improving joint mobility and strength.
  • This is achieved through hands on stretches, soft tissue release and exercise.

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