A Broken Wrist Symptoms Guide

Broken wrist symptoms vary depending on wrist fracture types. Some minor fractures have very few symptoms at all. Other more serious fractures such as compound or open fractures have far more symptoms. This short guide will explain the symptoms of a broken wrist, how they are caused an how they are treated.

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What are Broken Wrist Symptoms?

Broken wrist symptoms are the physical signs that occur when a person has fractured one of their wrist bones. If you were to view a range of broken wrist pictures you would find that the range of physical signs that each different injury shows, can be quite different. A very minor break of wrist bones may only show a little bruising and perhaps some swelling. More serious injuries will display a far broader range of more severe symptoms.

Broken Wrist Symptoms Key Facts

In the UK, one in every 10 broken bones is a break in wrist bones. This means that broken wrist symptoms are very common. The most often broken wrist bone is the radius.

Hairline fractured wrist symptoms often occur due to sporting injuries. Where other types of fractures are usually caused by an accident, a broken wrist is more commonly suffered due to a sports injury. This does much to explain why broken wrist symptoms are so common.

Slips, trips and falls are the most common type of personal accident in the UK. A fractured wrist or sprain is the most frequent injury sustained in a slip, trip or fall accident. This is especially true of the elderly, or people who have a condition such as osteoporosis causing the bones to be much weaker than normal.

If you take a look at the mock-up of a human wrist in the image below, you can see that it is a very complex joint, easily injured, and therefore fractured wrist symptoms are commonly dealt with in the hospital Accident & Emergency Department every day.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Broken Wrist?

If you believe you have fractured your wrist, then the symptoms of the injury will generally give a good indication of whether your wrist is broken or not, before a fractured wrist x ray is used to make a final diagnosis. Typical symptoms of a broken wrist include:

  • Pain and tenderness – of the wrist itself and possibly the arm in a fractured wrist ulnar
  • Swelling and bruising – of the wrist, hand or lower arm.
  • Difficulty in moving it – if flexing your wrist causes pain, or the joint will not flex, then you could have broken your wrist.
  • Oddly shaped arm/wrist – if your lower arm is strangely shaped, with the hand twisted to one side, or sticking up.
  • You heard a snapping noise – when the accident happened, this could have been a wrist bone breaking.
  • Strange sensations – such as tingling, numbness or a feeling of cold in the wrist, hand or fingers.

It is important to know the symptoms of a broken wrist so that you can make a rough diagnosis. For example, if you suspect a childs fractured wrist then check the injury against the above-listed symptoms, if there is a significant correlation, then seek medical attention.

What Are the Most Common Causes of a Broken Wrist Symptoms?

There are a number of ways that broken wrist symptoms can be caused, which will lead to the sufferer requiring fractured wrist treatment. However, three causes are much more common than others, and these are:

  • Car/motorcycle/bicycle/pedestrian accidents – road traffic accidents are the second most common cause of fractured wrist injuries.
  • Slips, trips or falls – when a person falls, they naturally push out their arms and hands to break their fall. This can result in a fractured wrist, especially in elderly people.
  • Sports injuries – in certain sports such as football, hockey, skiing or rugby, a broken wrist is a frequent occurrence due to sports-related

When Should You Seek Medical Care for a Broken Wrist Symptoms?

Generally, a broken wrist is a very painful and obvious injury. If you have the major symptoms of a broken wrist, you will need to visit either the Accident & Emergency Department of your local hospital or the Minor Injuries Unit. Once you receive treatment for the symptoms, you can begin broken wrist recovery.

How to Get a Free Expert Orthopaedic Assessment for Your Broken Bone Report

When you visit the hospital to have your broken wrist symptoms diagnosed and treated, a doctor will usually x ray fractured wrist bones to discover exactly what the problem is. The results of the x-ray will be written up into a broken bone report, which is used to decide just what treatment you will need.

If you ask for a copy of this broken bone report for your fractured wrist, we may be able to get you a free expert orthopaedic assessment of it. This will help you discover if you are receiving the correct treatment, and whether there is any additional treatment which could help you recover faster. Call us now to find out if a free expert orthopaedic assessment of your broken bone report is available in your area.

How is are Broken Wrist Symptoms Diagnosed?

Before you can receive treatment and begin your fractured wrist recovery, your injury needs to be diagnosed. This process will begin with a doctor giving you an examination. If the doctor believes that you have broken your wrist, further tests will be called for, such as:

  • X-ray – most broken wrist symptoms can be highlighted using an x-ray. This will show the damage to the wrist bones.
  • MRI Scan – symptoms for a hairline fracture can be hard to see on an x-ray, so an MRI scan is used where a hairline fracture is suspected.

How are Broken Wrist Symptoms Treated?

Once your broken wrist symptoms have been fully diagnosed, you will receive treatment to help you begin healing.

Initially, before you receive any treatment you will be stabilised, and your wrist will be immobilised using a fractured wrist splint.

What happens next depends entirely upon how serious the symptoms are, one of two treatment options will be taken:

  • For minor injuries – such as simple and hairline fractures of the wrist, will be treated by simply immobilising the wrist using a brace of a broken wrist cast. The patient will then be discharged from hospital and sent home.
  • For serious injuries – such as compound and open fractures, where the bones of the wrist need to be realigned so that they can mend straight. Surgery will be used to facilitate this. As part of this broken wrist surgery plate and screws will be used to keep the bones aligned whilst they heal. The patient will then have their wrist immobilised using a fractured wrist cast and they will be discharged to continue caring for their injury at home.

What Free Private Treatment Can I Qualify For?

NHS treatment of fractured wrist symptoms is generally very good. However, private medical treatment is usually much better. This is because NHS treatment is designed to treat the injury in the most cost-effective way possible.

You may have access to a number of private medical treatment offers in your area. If you would like to check to find out what is available, then give us a call. Once we have your postcode we can find out what free private medical care you are eligible for. It will take us less than a minute to find out for you.

Caring for Your Broken Wrist Symptoms at Home

Once your broken wrist symptoms have been diagnosed and treated in hospital, you will be sent home to continue with your recovery. Caring for your fractured wrist at home is pretty simple, and these broken wrist recovery tips will help you ensure that you recover as rapidly and as fully as possible:

  • Rest your wrist – this is the primary self-care for dealing with broken wrist symptoms. At least for the first few weeks, you must rest your wrist. Ideally by settling on a pillow or cushion to protect it.
  • Manage the pain – if your doctor did not give you a course of painkillers before you were discharged from the hospital, use over-the-counter medication to manage the pain of your broken wrist.
  • Exercise your fingers – once your doctor tells you it is OK, you should perform simple finger exercises to help prepare for the day your broken wrist cast comes off.
  • Watch doe complications – if your broken wrist symptoms start getting worse, or you notice that the skin above or below the wrist has changed colour, or there are signs of infection, the contact your doctor immediately.

Is There Any Other Good Treatment I Can Get for Free?

You may be able to claim some other type of free private medical care for your fractured wrist, such as some type of free medical supplies such as a free high-quality broken wrist brace.

Call us today to find out if there are any offers of free medical supplies available in your area, it will take us less than a minute to let you know.

Follow Up for Broken Wrist Symptoms

Once your broken wrist symptoms have been diagnosed and treated in hospital, and you have been discharged and sent home, then you will need to visit your doctor every 2 to 3 weeks while your injury is healing. This is to make sure that no complications have set in, and that at a later stage, you are doing all you can to prepare for your cast coming off.

Towards the end of your recovery, your doctor will begin discussing the process of rehabilitation with you and explain how physiotherapy will be used once your cast comes off to help you regain the full function of your wrist.

How Long Do Broken Wrist Symptoms Take to Heal?

The answer to the question, how long does fractured wrist take to heal? Depends on a number of variables such as how serious the original injury was, the age of the patient, and their general level of health.

For simple fractures, the bones of the wrist will have repaired themselves in 6 to 8 weeks. However, the actual bone healing time is just one step along the recovery timeline. Once the bones have healed and the broken wrist cast comes off, rehabilitation will begin.

Rehabilitation consists of receiving physiotherapy to get the wrist back functioning at 100%. For younger people, full rehabilitation can take 3 to 4 months. For older people, it may take much longer.

For more serious wrist fractures such as a distal radius fracture healing time is may take slightly longer, 8 to 10 weeks. The rehabilitation time will be similar, as physiotherapy will be needed to complete the recovery.

How Can I Recover Safer and Possibly Faster?

If you have had your fractured wrist symptoms diagnosed and treated at an NHS hospital, then there could be a way for you to receiver faster. Part of your fractured wrist healing time will be spent in rehabilitation, whilst you receive physiotherapy to rebuild the strength and dexterity of your wrist. NHS physio is fine, but private physio is better.

There may be a way for you to receive some free private physiotherapy as you are rehabilitating from your broken wrist. Call us today and let us know your postcode. If we think there is any free physio available in your area, we will be able to tell you.

What is the Prognosis for Broken Wrist Symptoms?

The long-term prognosis from broken wrist symptoms is generally very good. Even elderly people tend to make a good recovery, even though it can take slightly longer.

Most people recover 100% function of their wrist once it has healed and they have spent a period of time receiving physiotherapy to assist them in their rehabilitation. Elderly people may find that their wrist is weaker once it has healed and that it is more prone to being rebroken in the future.

There are a number of complications that can set in, but these occur infrequently. Similarly, the long-term effects of a fractured wrist are few.

What are the Possible Complications of Broken Wrist Symptoms?

If you have been treated in hospital for broken wrist symptoms, then there are a small number of possible complications that could set in, and these include:

  • Infection – primarily caused by surgery that has been performed to realign the bones before they can heal.
  • Pain – again, due to surgery, when the surgical fixings used begin to aggravate the flesh around the wrist. In some cases, the fixings can be removed using further surgery to cure this complication.
  • Rotations – where the two parts of bone that need to knit together do so crookedly.
  • Nonunion – where the two parts of bone that need to knit together cannot do so because they are too far apart.

If you believe you may be suffering from any of these complications following the treatment of your broken wrist symptoms, then you must contact your doctor immediately.

Do You Think Your Doctor Might Have Missed Something About Your Injury?

If you have been treated for fractured writs symptoms, you may believe that some of the treatment was applied wrongly, or that something critical has been overlooked. If you suspect some form of medical malpractice in the treatment of your fractured wrist symptoms, you need to educate yourself about the nature of your injury and its treatment. All of the websites below offer more in-depth information about broken wrist symptoms and their treatment:

Broken Wrist Information – NHS

How Do You Know if You Have Broken a Bone? – NHS

Advice for Patients with a Fractured Wrist in a Plaster Cast – Guy’s and Saint Thomas

Are There Any Long-Term Health Issues Caused by Broken Wrist Symptoms?

Once your broken wrist symptoms have been diagnosed and treated, and you have completed your recovery and rehabilitation, there are a number of potential long-term effects that could come in to play further down the line. These include:

Arthritis – this condition can set in when the wrist bones grow scar tissue as they heal. This scar tissue can rub away at the cartilage of the joint. In the future, arthritis can set in due to this cartilage damage. In some cases, part of the damage can be repaired via surgery. Where it can’t be repaired, anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers are used to treat it.

  • Numbness of the fingers – this could be a complete loss of feeling or strange sensations such as pins and needles. This is caused by nerve damage that happened at the time of the original injury, or by the surgery used to realign the bones of the wrist before they healed.
  • Weakened grip – again, this is caused by nerve damage, and also damage to the muscles and ligaments of the wrist and hand.
  • Weakened arm – caused by the same type of muscle, ligament and arm damage as a weakened grip, although somewhat more severe.
  • Weakened arm – when the broken wrists symptoms included damage to the large bones of the lower arm, the associated muscle and ligament damage can affect the entire lower arm strength.

These are the primary long-term health effects of broken wrist symptoms, once they have been treated and the injury has fully healed.

Contact Us to Find Out if You Qualify for Free Private Treatment

If you have recently visited the hospital to have your broken wrist symptoms diagnosed and treated, we might be able to find some free private medical treatment available in your area. This could include free private medical care such as:

  • A free expert orthopaedic assessment of the broken bone report for your fractured wrist.
  • A free high-quality broken wrist brace to help in the recovery of your fractured wrist.
  • Some free private physiotherapy to help you recover from your fractured wrist more rapidly and more fully.

If you would like to find out if there is any free private medical treatment available to you, the process is very simple. All you need to do is pick up the phone and give us a quick call. We will then take your postcode and locate any free private medical care that you could be eligible to claim in your area. It will take us less than a minute to find out this information for you, and you really have nothing to lose, so call us today!