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ORIF of a Wrist Fracture


Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of a wrist fracture is surgery to fix a broken wrist. Medical plates, screws, pins, or wires will be used to hold the bones in place while they heal.



  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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 healthcare provider as directed:

You will need to return to have your wound checked and stitches or staples removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Apply ice on your wrist for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your wrist above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your wrist on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
  • Care for your splint or cast as directed. Ask when you can bathe. Follow your healthcare provider's directions for bathing with a splint or cast.
  • Ask when you can return to your normal daily activities. You may need to avoid lifting objects that are heavier than 5 pounds. Your healthcare provider may recommend that you exercise your fingers and arm.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

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

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have severe pain, even after you take pain medicine.
  • Your incision is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • Your fingers look pale or blue, feel numb, or tingle.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your cast or splint breaks or gets damaged.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.