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TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute

Fractures of the Wrist and Finger

Whether you’re an athlete, a weekend warrior or you simply love being active, a broken bone can make it feel as if you’ve been sidelined from life. At TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we are consistently at the forefront of the latest advances in surgical and nonsurgical treatments for fractures of the wrist and fingers. We’re focused on delivering customized care with lasting results so you can get back in the game.

Fractures of the Wrist and Fingers

The fingers and wrist are comprised of a complex network of bones. Fractures of the wrist and fingers occur when any of the 8 wrist bones or 14 finger bones break. Breaks can range from mild to severe, and treatment will depend largely on the complexity of the break and the number of bones injured. Any of the fingers are prone to fractures, but the distal radius bone of the forearm (on the thumb side of the hand) is the wrist bone most prone to breakage.

Types of fractures include:

  • Stable fracture—also called a non-displaced fracture; bones remain aligned
  • Displaced fracture—bones become misaligned and move out of place
  • Open fracture—also called a compound fracture; bones jut through a break in the skin

Fractures of the wrist and fingers causes

A wrist fracture or finger fracture is almost always the cause of a sudden and traumatic injury. The most common causes include:

  • Auto accidents
  • Falls, especially when the arm is outstretched upon impact
  • Sports injuries

Fractures of the wrist and fingers symptoms

Symptoms of a wrist or finger fracture will depend on the severity of the break. Hairline fractures, or very thin fractures, may cause minor pain and swelling. However, symptoms of displaced or compound fractures may include:

  • Deformity if the bone has been shoved out of alignment
  • Exposed bone if the fracture has broken the skin
  • Extreme swelling or bruising at the site of fracture
  • Immobility of the finger, wrist or entire hand
  • Numbness if nerves are affected by the fracture

Fractures of the wrists and fingers treatment

Broken finger or broken wrist treatment will depend on the complexity of the break. Stable fractures can sometimes be treated nonsurgically with the following approaches:

  • Cast
  • RICE (Rest, ice, compression, elevation)
  • Splint

If the break involves multiple bones or affects the nerves, tendons or ligaments of the hand or wrist, surgery may be necessary. Broken finger or wrist surgery will realign and stabilize the broken bones using hardware such as pins, screws or metal plates. Physical therapy is almost always necessary after any kind of fracture.

Fractures of the wrist and fingers risk factors

Certain risk factors can increase your chances of a wrist or finger fracture, including:

  • Age
  • High-impact sports
  • Osteoporosis
  • Smoking

Fractures of the wrist and fingers prevention

The best way to prevent fractures of the wrist and fingers is to maintain good bone health and reduce your risk of injury. Tips for reducing your risk include:

  • Avoiding tobacco, as this can weaken bones and delay bone healing
  • Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
  • Preventing and treating osteoporosis
  • Maintaining strong muscles to help prevent falls
  • Refraining from contact sports and high-impact activities

Make an appointment

If not treated properly, fractures of the wrist and fingers can cause permanent damage or loss of mobility. Get an accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment from one of our specialists. Learn more or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300 or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 961 HAND or 513 961 4263.

TriHealth Orthopedic and Spine Institute
TOSI: 513 246 2300
Beacon: 513 354 3700
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