I broke my wrist on a Monday in a car accident though I didn't know it was broken. I went to a doctor on Tuesday when pain did not ease and they ran x rays. They did not offer me a brace or splint so I went CVS and bought one. Wednesday got a call back that it's broken and they were referring me to an orthopedic clinic. The call came from the doctor after the orthopedic clinic was closed and again they offered no suggestions on what to do with the wrist in the mean time of should I ice it, not take the brace off etc. Was just told the othopedic specialists will know what to do with it. Called orthopedics on Thursday to be informed they don't do wrists and not sure why they were referred. Called doctor back after finding an orthopedic clinic on my own. They sent in a new referral. Got a call back from othopedic clinic Friday that I could see the doctor on Monday because they are closed on weekends. The nurse sounded surprised that I didn't have a splint. It will be one week from the break when I see the orthopedic specialist. Is this normal for this to take this long, should my doctor have done more? This could be standard protocol I have never broken a bone before so I'm just not sure. I'm worried I might have done more damage to the wrist after a week with just a brace on it.
It is a bit unusual waiting for a week but there is no bone displacement (or the fracture would have shown up). After a week there should be partial union of the fracture. I wouldn't be that surprised or concerned that the doctors made a mess from day one. General practitioners are not radiologists and I'm glad it wasn't something serious they missed.
Get a new Dr. This one doesn't care about you. I hate hearing stories like this. Its not your job to find a orthopedic clinic. I'm surprised that the first orthopedic clinic didn't do wrists... I wonder why. Its not ok that you were not given a brace/splint. And you had to wait a day to be told its broken!!!
I'm upset you had to deal with this. Good on you for finding your own clinic and getting a brace. I would start raising some questions once you start treatment. Especially if you have limited mobility in the future.
I'm so sorry you have gotten the run around but this is a classic case of Murphy's Law!
If something can go wrong...
Will go wrong!
If you ever are involved in an accident or a fall/injury I'd go to the ER. They may not have picked on the fracture but they would have an accurate referral system. They would have know not to have you go to the ortho that doesn't do wrist.
You probably have a minor fracture. As Stephen said is true that it's probably not displaced.
Basically, the bone is not out of alignment but a minor "crack". The initial films are read on site giving you a preliminary reading. The X-rays need to "dry" (I'm not sure if that is what it's still called) and read by a doctor who does nothing but read the X-rays.
Most of the time it's not a problem but sometimes you get a call the following day from the radiologist to bring the person back in for a cast because it came back as a fracture.
So you did the right thing by immobilizing it in a splint. Ice too would have been good.
I'd call the initial doctor's office back and give them hell for giving you an improper referral. I can't believe an orthopedist doesn't do wrists! He should have communicated this to anyone making referrals to him. The ER probably would have know this.
If you went to the ER this would probably have happened:
You would have been wrapped with an ace bandage.
You would have to go back to the ER or an ortho for a cast the next day.
You would have been given a proper referral to an ortho that does do wrists.
You got the royal run-around!
I'd write the doctor a letter as you did just now explaining what happened.
I'd send it via mail directly to his name. Send it so it's delivered straight to him and requires his signature.
This way if you have complications he can't say he didn't know about it.
It's a way for them to fix their system so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
I don't think there should be any problem as it wasn't visible on the first reading.
Good luck to you.
One more thing...
If you can take NSAIDS it would be good for the pain and inflammation.
I broke my hand once landed on it hard fell on ice. Didn't realize it was broke that night until I went to bed and woke up in a lot of pain and swollen. I went to a urgent care. They took xrays and found it had broken in multiple places. They quickly found a orthopedic Dr and made sure they could get me in within the week. They wrapped it and gave me some general pointers and meds until I seen the ortho dr. I've been in your case where drs don't care and you have to do the leg work. Good thing you did. I would be very careful with it and look up online the best way to care for a injury like that until seen. You should be okay for a bit as it takes a while for your body to start healing breaks and bones. I would call the ortho clinic you are going to be seen at and see what they suggest you do in the mean time.
Your story is just terrible! I really feel for you!!!
I agree with the others, it's probably okay, but you DO want to get it locked into a cast soon.
The day I broke my wrist in 3 places, I went to the ER, and they put a temporary cast on me. It wasn't the usual plaster cast, but it had multiple layers and was as hard as a rock. I wore that until I went to the orthopedist, who cut it off and put on a plaster cast that day. THAT'S how you deserve to be treated, you poor thing!
Go easy on it and resist the temptation to pick up anything or do any rotating movements. Don't push your palm down towards your wrist to test it for pain. Just keep that sucker braced up, baby it, and keep in mind that you are at risk of making the break much worse if you do anything to exacerbate it before it's in a plaster cast. That's motivation, right??? :0)
So I just noticed that this was posted 6 days ago... how did things turn out for you? If you can henpeck out an answer. LOL ;0)
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