Hand and Wrist Fractures
What are hand and wrist fractures?
Whether you have been told the bone is “broken”, “compound”, “hairline”, “greenstick”, “buckled”, “cracked”, “chipped”, “split”, “shattered”, or “splintered”, the medical term is called a fracture of the bone. Fractures are very common in the hand and wrist, usually due to an acute injury.
Most fractures are caused by injuries that involve significant force (falls, automobile accidents, sports/work accidents), but even seemingly minor injuries can sometimes cause a fracture of the small bones of the hand and wrist.
Signs and symptoms
- Pain, swelling, stiffness
- Clicking or popping
Is there a test for hand and wrist fractures?
Your symptoms and medical history as well as an examination of your hand and wrist can help to diagnose arthritis, but X-ray is usually needed to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes MRI or CT scan is helpful if the fracture cannot be seen well on X-ray.
Treatment for fractures varies widely depending on the location and severity of the fracture. Many fractures in the hand and wrist can be treated nonoperatively with casting or splinting. Some fractures require operative treatment to set the bone straight and hold it in position for healing.
READY TO CONFIRM A DIAGNOSIS AND FIX THE PROBLEM OR JUST WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Our Board-Certified Orthopaedic Hand and Wrist Surgeons are here to help! They can often diagnose the problem in one visit, and get you started with a treatment plan. We offer a wide variety of both nonoperative and operative treatment options.
This content is not a substitute for expert medical advice or diagnosis and is for educational purposes only.