Hand & Wrist Fracture

Hand and wrist fractures are common injuries involving a break in one of the many bones within the hand and wrist. These fractures can significantly affect hand function and daily activities.

Causes and Risk Factors

These fractures often result from falls, especially when a person tries to catch themselves with an outstretched hand. They can also occur due to direct trauma or in sports-related activities. Risk factors include osteoporosis, participating in contact sports, and engaging in activities that increase the likelihood of falls.

Types of Fractures

Hand and wrist fractures can vary in type and severity:

  • Wrist Fractures: The most common is a break in the radius (the distal radius fracture).
  • Hand Fractures: These include fractures of the small bones (metacarpals) or the finger bones (phalanges).


Symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and tenderness. The injured area may also appear deformed, and there can be difficulty moving the fingers or wrist.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests like X-rays. Treatment depends on the fracture’s location and severity. Options include:

  • Casting or Splinting: To immobilize the bones and allow them to heal.
  • Reduction: Realigning the bone fragments, sometimes required before casting if the fracture is displaced.
  • Surgery: Necessary for more complex fractures to properly realign and stabilize the bones using pins, screws, or plates.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery often involves physical therapy to restore movement, strength, and functionality. The healing time varies but can take several weeks to months.

Hand and wrist fractures, while common, can significantly impact daily life. Prompt treatment and proper rehabilitation are crucial for restoring full function and preventing long-term complications.