Wrist Fracture In Adults

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

A wrist fracture is a break in one or more of the bones in your wrist.

AFTER YOU LEAVE:

Medicines:

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.

  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or bone specialist as directed:

Write down any questions so you remember to ask them in your follow-up visits.

Ice:

Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your wrist for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as directed.

Self-care:

  • Check the skin around your cast or splint daily for any redness or sores.

  • If your splint is too tight, your fingers may be numb or tingle. Gently loosen the fasteners as directed to relieve the tightness.

  • Do not use a sharp or pointed object to scratch your skin under the cast or splint.

  • Do not push down or lean on any part of the cast or splint, because it may break.

How to bathe with a cast or splint:

Before you take a bath or shower, cover your cast or splint with a plastic bag. Tape the bag to your skin above the cast or splint to keep out water. Hold your arm away from the water in case the bag leaks. It is important that you do not get your cast or splint wet.

Physical therapy:

You may need physical therapy after your wrist heals and the cast is removed. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help improve movement and strength and to decrease pain.

Call your primary healthcare provider or bone specialist if:

  • You have a fever.

  • There is a bad smell coming from under your cast or splint.

  • You have more pain or swelling than before the cast or splint was put on.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek immediate care or call 911 if:

  • You have increased pain or swelling in your wrist area that does not go away.

  • Your cast or splint gets damaged or breaks.

  • Your cast or splint becomes soaked with blood.

  • Your cast feels tighter, and you have more swelling in your fingers.

  • Your fingers on the injured wrist turn blue or white, or they are cold or numb.

  • Your arm feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.

  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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