Wrist and Forearm Fractures

Overview:  The Forearm and Wrist are made up of the Radius, Ulna and carpal bones of the hand. Fractures of this area are often caused by a fall onto an outstretched upper extremity, a fall onto a hand or wrist, or a direct blow to the area.



Signs and Symptoms:

  • Immediate pain, and swelling.
  • A “pop” or “snap” is heard.
  • A deformity at the site of the injury.
  • Pain when using the affected arm.

Treatment:  Fractures of upper extremities should be evaluated immediately.  An evaluation will consist of physical examination, X-rays.  The fracture may need to be reduced (put back in place) and splinted or casted.  Depending on the location and success of reduction will determine if operative or non-operative treatment is necessary.  Non-Operative management will likely involve casting or immobilizing for 4-6 weeks, followed by mobilization and physical therapy.

Pre-Op Care:

  • Pre-Operative History and Physical.
  • Pre-Operative screening labs.
  • Pre-operative X-rays .
  • Elevation of the injured extremity.

Post-Op Care:

  • Daily incisional care, keep incision clean and dry and replace the bandage daily, with a clean dressing.
  • Pain medication when needed. 
  • Cast or splint to be worn every day.
  • Post-op clinical visits for suture removal at 2-3 weeks after surgery.