Distal Radius Fractures Diagnosis and Treatment
The most common of all arm fractures, distal radius fractures, also known as wrist fractures, often occur when a person falls on their outstretched hand. The radius is the larger of the two forearm bones and the ulna is the smaller. Symptoms of a distal radius fracture include acute pain, swelling and bruising as well as deformity of the fractured area.
X-rays of the affected area are needed to determine whether a fracture exists, as well as the extent of the fracture. Depending upon the extent of the injury, a CT scan may be performed as well. Distal radius fractures sometimes involve the joint, as well as the ulna, the other wrist bone. If the bone is fractured in more than two places, it is called a comminuted fracture and is more difficult to treat.
If the injury causes deformity, as well as numbness, severe pain and color change in the fingers where they are no longer pink, immediate medical attention is needed.
If the bone is in proper position, or can be re-aligned (reduced) without using an incision, surgery is not generally needed. Instead a splint or cast is used to hold the bone in position as it heals. X-rays are taken several times during the healing process to monitor progress. After several weeks, the cast can be removed and physical therapy begins.
In some instances, the bone must be re-aligned using an incision (open reduction) in an operating room. Methods other than casting must sometimes be used to hold the bone in position as it heals. Bones can be held in place using pins, screws, a plate, or an external fixator (where most of the device remains on the outside of the skin.)
Dr. Fiore specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Arthritis of the Hand and Wrist. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and fellowship trained in hand and microsurgery. For more information on treatment options, or to schedule a consultation, call Fiore Hand and Wrist at (281) 970-8002.
We are conveniently located within driving distance of Cypress TX, Katy TX, Spring TX, Tomball TX, The Woodlands TX, and Houston TX.
For more information please visit Handcare.org.