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Your forearm has two bones, the radius and ulna. The larger of the two bones is called a radius, and this is often susceptible to trauma. In fact, from any fall or motor vehicle accident may cause a break of the wrist. This is sometimes called a distal radius fracture. Often times the term fracture and break are used interchangeably in the healthcare field as they mean the same thing.
A broken wrist usually results in immediate pain, bruising, and swelling.
Certain fractures may be treated non-operatively in a cast or a splint. Traditionally, wrist fractures were kept in an above elbow cast for 2 to 3 weeks, followed by another 4 weeks of casting below the elbow. In contrast, modern techniques allow for no casting after surgery. To address the fractured bone, your surgeon will use a plate and screws, resulting in an early range of motion and minimizing post-operative down time. Overall, operative treatment can eliminate the need for an uncomfortable cast in the South Florida heat. The key to a great outcome is appropriate hand therapy after surgery done by a certified hand therapist. After your surgery, your doctor and certified hand therapist will work as a team to ensure your return back to daily tasks as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on distal radius fracture, we invite you to review an educational website endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.