Fractured Wrist: Treatment and Recovery

A fractured wrist or a broken wrist is a crack in one or several bones found in your wrist or hand. The most typical cause of this injury happens when someone tries to break a fall and lands on their fully stretched arm. Factors that can contribute to having a fractured wrist can range from playing active sports to having a disease that makes the bones become weak and fragile like osteoporosis. It is vital to treat a fractured wrist as quick as possible. If a broken bone is not treated immediately, the bones may not heal in their correct alignment which will affect your capability to do daily activities. Immediate treatment will aid in eliminating the discomfort and stiffness.

Treatment

If the broken bones are displaced, there will be gaps found between the bones or bone fragments might overlap. Your medical provider will need to put the bones back in their correct position which is called bone reduction. Depending on the severity of the pain and inflammation, your doctor might inject anesthesia before realigning the broken bones. Whatever treatment is applied, it is critical to move your fingers frequently while the bones are healing to prevent them from stiffening.

Recovery

Recovering from a broken wrist is an inconvenience for anyone. Regaining strength and mobility as soon as possible is a critical part of a patient’s treatment. Whether a patient is getting treatment right after the injury or after the cast has been removed, there are certain methods one can take to help their recovery be quicker and return to their normal lives as soon as possible. Being familiar to the exercises that can help in the recovery of a broken wrist is helpful, but are there other ways to speed up the healing process? Here are some advanced treatments and proven therapeutic techniques that can help you heal quickly and safely:

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy

If the broken wrist is wrapped with removable braces while in recovery, it is possible to use cryotherapy to lessen the pain and inflammation. The cryotherapy provides consistent, therapeutic cold that naturally decreases pain and slows down the metabolism of cells. Additionally, it also helps get rid of edema and stop the inflammation from developing around the joints of the wrist.

Contrast Therapy

Contrast Therapy

After the swelling has gone down, contrast therapy can be availed to hasten healing by triggering blood circulation via the application of heat. Quickly switching to therapeutic cold allows our body to receive the advantages of heat without the danger of having increased swelling due to the increased blood flow. If the wrist is casted, contrast therapy can only be applicable after the cast is removed to allow increased blood flow and lessen the pain.

Electrical Stimulation

Electrical Stimulation

The bones in our body have a natural way of healing themselves after a fracture. However, the healing process can be made quicker with the utilization of electrical stimulation. Capacitive coupling requires a patient to have several skin electrodes installed on both sides of the fractured bones. This will make the cells on the broken bone divide more quickly which causes them to heal faster. Electrical stimulation has been proven effective for scaphoid fractures and for individuals who have a hard time healing their bones.

Manual Therapy

Manual Therapy

When patients consult a physical therapist, they expect to get the kind of treatment that they are not able to do on their own at home. Using hand techniques including motion exercises and massages, these help boost the healing process and keep the patients returning for more. These passive exercises also aid in returning mobility to the affected wrist, remove edema and stiffness from the tendons on the joint.

Occupational TherapyOccupational Therapy

Another way to boost the recovery of a patient who just got a wrist fracture is to give them occupational therapy tips. These will help them safely accomplish daily tasks without the risk of slowing the recovery process. Patients might find it hard to go back to their old habits without the full utilization of their hand and wrist but the more they can manage their lifestyle, the less troublesome the healing process will be. Teaching patients several exercises for improving the strength of their grip and showing other ways  to do specific activities, can go a long way in their road to recovery.

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