Fractures or broken bones of different parts of the body are common injuries that can occur in anyone’s life. One of the most common fractures is a wrist fracture. A wrist fracture refers to a break in one of the bones of the wrist. The wrist is made up of the radius and the ulna, which are the two bones in the forearm that connect to the 8 small bones in the wrist. The answer to whether you can move your fractured wrist is not a straightforward one. It depends on a variety of factors, which we will explore in this article.
Symptoms of a Fractured Wrist
A fractured wrist can cause various symptoms, such as:
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling around the wrist
- Difficulty or inability to move the wrist
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers or hand
- Deformity or visible signs of a fracture, such as a misshapen wrist or bone protruding through the skin
Factors That Influence Whether You Can Move Your Fractured Wrist
The ability to move a fractured wrist depends on various factors, including:
- The severity of the fracture: If the fracture is minor, you may be able to move your wrist to a certain extent without causing much pain or harm. However, if the fracture is severe, you may not be able to move your wrist at all or only with a lot of pain.
- The location of the fracture: The location of the fracture can affect the ability to move the wrist. For example, a fracture in the middle of the radius or ulna may affect the rotation of the forearm and make it difficult to turn the hand palm up and palm down.
- The type of fracture: There are different types of fractures, such as stable, displaced, comminuted, or open fractures. Depending on the type of fracture you have, your ability to move your wrist may differ.
- The treatment plan: Depending on the type and severity of the fracture, your doctor may recommend different treatment options, such as immobilization with a cast or surgery. Depending on the treatment plan, you may or may not be able to move your wrist.
How to Move Your Fractured Wrist Safely
If you have a fractured wrist and have been advised by your doctor to move your wrist, you should do so only if you can do it without causing pain or worsening your injury.
- Start slow and steady: Begin with gentle movements and gradually increase the range of motion. Stop if you feel pain or discomfort.
- Use your other hand to support the wrist: You can use your other hand to help stabilize the wrist while moving it.
- Avoid putting pressure on the fracture: Do not put any pressure on the fracture site while moving your wrist.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions: If your doctor has given you specific exercises or movements to perform, follow them according to the instructions.
- Avoid sudden movements: Do not make any sudden or jerky movements that can strain or injure the wrist further.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you have a fractured wrist, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. However, you should seek medical attention again if the following symptoms appear:
- The pain, swelling, or redness around the fracture site is getting worse.
- You feel numbness or tingling in the fingers or hand.
- You lose the ability to move your hand or fingers.
- You notice any signs of infection, such as fever, pus, or increased warmth and redness around the fracture site.
In conclusion, the ability to move your fractured wrist depends on various factors, such as the severity, location, and type of the fracture, as well as your treatment plan. If you have a fractured wrist, it is essential to seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s advice regarding the movement of your wrist. Always remember to move your wrist slowly and gradually, and stop if you experience pain or discomfort.
FAQs About Fractured Wrist
- Can I move my wrist if it’s fractured?
It depends on the type and severity of the fracture, as well as your treatment plan. If you have a fractured wrist, it is essential to seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s advice regarding the movement of your wrist.
- What happens if you move a fractured wrist?
Moving a fractured wrist can cause pain, swelling, and damage to the surrounding muscles, ligaments, and nerves, which can prolong the healing process and lead to complications.
- How long does it take for a fractured wrist to heal?
The healing time for a fractured wrist depends on various factors, such as the type and severity of the fracture, your age, overall health, and treatment plan. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for a fractured wrist to heal completely.
- Do I need surgery if I have a fractured wrist?
It depends on the type and severity of the fracture. In some cases, a fractured wrist can heal with immobilization in a cast or splint. However, if the fracture is severe, displaced, or open, surgery may be necessary to realign the bones and stabilize the joint.
- How do I prevent a fractured wrist?
You can prevent a fractured wrist by taking the following precautions:
- Wear protective gear, such as wrist guards, when participating in sports or activities that put you at risk of falling or impact.
- Use caution and hold onto handrails when using stairs or walking on uneven surfaces.
- Avoid tripping hazards, such as wires, clutter, or loose carpeting.
- Strengthen your bones and muscles through regular exercise and a balanced diet that includes calcium, vitamin D, and protein.