Broken/fractured wrist - recovery time?

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Sabertooth
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I hurt my wrist on monday and it still hurts so much to bend it. I think it might be broken or fractured but I can't get an xray to confirm.

How long does a bone injury in the wrist take to heal if that's what it is? I currently have it wrapped in a stretchy bandage thing which is helping to make it less painful. What else should I be doing?

Ta!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
I hurt my wrist on monday and it still hurts so much to bend it. I think it might be broken or fractured but I can't get an xray to confirm.

How long does a bone injury in the wrist take to heal if that's what it is? I currently have it wrapped in a stretchy bandage thing which is helping to make it less painful. What else should I be doing?

Ta!
It's more likely to be a sprain of one the ligaments in your wrist than a fracture. They can be extremely painful and take anything from a week to several months to heal, depending on the degree of injury. Apart from PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation), it might be an idea to see if you can attend your local minor injuries clinic if it's very painful and doesn't seem to be getting better. If it's not too serious, then you should be able to treat it at home.

How did you do it?
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Reality Check)
It's more likely to be a sprain of one the ligaments in your wrist than a fracture. They can be extremely painful and take anything from a week to several months to heal, depending on the degree of injury. Apart from PRICE (protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation), it might be an idea to see if you can attend your local minor injuries clinic if it's very painful and doesn't seem to be getting better. If it's not too serious, then you should be able to treat it at home.

How did you do it?
I looked online and apparently the only way they can tell if it's the bone or a sprain is with an xray? God I hope it doesn't take ages, I want to get back to swimming. RN I can't even do the motion for breast stroke with that arm so swimming is out. The local injury clinic is useless here. :/ So with PRICE basically keep it wrapped and try to avoid using?

I tripped over a rug and put my hand out to break my fall. :sigh:
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
I looked online and apparently the only way they can tell if it's the bone or a sprain is with an xray? God I hope it doesn't take ages, I want to get back to swimming. RN I can't even do the motion for breast stroke with that arm so swimming is out. The local injury clinic is useless here. :/ So with PRICE basically keep it wrapped and try to avoid using?

I tripped over a rug and put my hand out to break my fall. :sigh:
Oh dear

(Original post by Sabertooth)
So with PRICE basically keep it wrapped and try to avoid using?
Pretty much. Icing it is important, particularly in the first 72-hours or so. Use a bag of frozen peas or sweetcorn wrapped up in a damp tea-towel. Apply the ice for 20 minutes or so every 2-3 hours. This should help a lot with the pain. Use a compression bandage or a crepe bandage, but loosen it if your fingers feel a bit numb or go a bit blue!

Do you have a lot of pain on the inner side of your wrist, towards the base of the thumb?
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Allyson2020
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
I hurt my wrist on monday and it still hurts so much to bend it. I think it might be broken or fractured but I can't get an xray to confirm.

How long does a bone injury in the wrist take to heal if that's what it is? I currently have it wrapped in a stretchy bandage thing which is helping to make it less painful. What else should I be doing?

Ta!
Okay you done your arm in on Monday but yet it's now late Thursday night which in my opinion as a registered nurse it isn't broken because you'll know if it was broken because (1) you would be in constant pain, (2) possibly swollen up, (3) you should had seen to this straight away.
Should had also put some ice or frozen food wrapped up in a towel on it as well
Try keeping arm moving as much as possible....
Sounds like what other person said it is a badly bruised strained muscle.
Take paracetomal and ibuprofen and perhaps some deep heat cream to help things ( not necessary).
Below are NHS guidelines on a broken / fractured arm !!!!



Broken arm or wrist
Get medical advice as soon as possible if you think you have broken your arm or wrist. Any possible breaks need to be treated as soon as possible. It's not always clear if your arm or wrist is broken or just sprained so it's important to get your injury looked at by a healthcare professional.

Urgent advice:Get advice from 111 now if:
You have had an injury to your arm or wrist and:

the injury is very painful
there is a large amount of swelling or bruising
you cannot use the affected arm or wrist due to the pain
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.

Other ways to get help
Immediate action required:Go to A&E or call 999 if:
the affected arm or wrist is numb, is tingling or has pins and needles
you have a bad cut that is bleeding heavily
a bone is sticking out of your skin
your arm or wrist has changed shape or is at an odd angle
Things to do while you're waiting to see a doctor
Do
use a towel as a sling to support the affected arm – The St John Ambulance website has more information about how to make an arm sling

gently hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the injured area for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours

stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean pad or dressing if possible

remove any jewellery such as rings or watches – your fingers, wrist or hand could swell up

take paracetamol for the pain

Don’t
do not eat or drink anything in case you need surgery to fix the bone when you get to hospital

do not try to use the affected arm or wrist

Treatment for a broken arm or wrist
When you get to hospital the affected arm will be placed in a splint to support it and stop any broken bones from moving out of position.

You will also be given painkilling medicines for the pain.

An X-ray is then used to see if there is a break and how bad that break is.

A plaster cast can be used to keep your arm in place until it heals – sometimes this may be done a few days later, to allow any swelling to go down first. You may be given a sling to support your arm.

A doctor may try to fit the broken bones back into place with their hands before applying a splint or cast – you will be given medicine before this happens so you will not feel any pain. If you had a very bad break surgery may be carried out to fix broken bones back into place.

Before leaving hospital, you'll be given painkillers to take home and advice on how to look after your cast.

Find out how to take care of your plaster cast

You'll be asked to attend follow-up appointments to check how your arm or wrist is healing.

How long does it take to recover from a broken arm or wrist?
In most cases it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a broken arm or wrist. It can take longer if your arm or wrist was severely damaged.

You will need to wear your plaster cast until the broken bone heals. The skin under the cast may be itchy for a few days but this should pass.

The hospital will give you an advice sheet on exercises you should do every day to help speed up your recovery.

Your arm or wrist may be stiff and weak after the cast is removed. A physiotherapist can help with these problems, although sometimes they can last several months or more.

Things you can do to help during recovery
Do
try to keep your hand raised above your elbow whenever possible; use a pillow at night to do this

follow any exercise advice you have been given

use the painkillers you have been given to ease pain

Don’t
do not get your cast wet – waterproof cast covers are available from pharmacies

do not use anything to scratch under the cast as this could lead to an infection

do not drive or try to lift heavy items until you have been told it is safe to do so

Read more about how to look after your plaster cast

Urgent advice:Get advice from 111 now if:
the pain in your arm or wrist gets worse
your temperature is very high or you feel hot and shivery
your cast breaks, or the cast feels too tight or too loose
your fingers, wrist and arm start to feel numb
your fingers, wrist and arm look swollen or turn blue or white
there's a bad smell or discharge of liquid from under your cast
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Oh dear



Pretty much. Icing it is important, particularly in the first 72-hours or so. Use a bag of frozen peas or sweetcorn wrapped up in a damp tea-towel. Apply the ice for 20 minutes or so every 2-3 hours. This should help a lot with the pain. Use a compression bandage or a crepe bandage, but loosen it if your fingers feel a bit numb or go a bit blue!

Do you have a lot of pain on the inner side of your wrist, towards the base of the thumb?
Oh I did it Monday. Is it still worth icing?

And yeah, I'm using a compression bandage. It seems to help a lot. Thanks for the finger tip!

No, the pain is mostly on the back of my wrist and radiates down my hand.

Thanks for the help!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Oh I did it Monday. Is it still worth icing?

And yeah, I'm using a compression bandage. It seems to help a lot. Thanks for the finger tip!

No, the pain is mostly on the back of my wrist and radiates down my hand.

Thanks for the help!
Probably a bit late now for the icing, but it's still worth giving it a go. The reason I asked about the bottom of your thumb is that you have a bone in your wrist called the scaphoid which can get broken if you fall on an outstretched hand and can cause serious problems down the line if it goes untreated. As I said, it's probably just a simple sprain which will get better on its own with rest and a bit of care, but don't hesitate to see your GP (as your injuries unit is crap) if it doesn't feel like it's getting better in a week or so.

And no problems - glad to help
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Allyson2020)
Okay you done your arm in on Monday but yet it's now late Thursday night which in my opinion as a registered nurse it isn't broken because you'll know if it was broken because (1) you would be in constant pain, (2) possibly swollen up, (3) you should had seen to this straight away.
Should had also put some ice or frozen food wrapped up in a towel on it as well
Try keeping arm moving as much as possible....
Sounds like what other person said it is a badly bruised strained muscle.
Take paracetomal and ibuprofen and perhaps some deep heat cream to help things ( not necessary).
Below are NHS guidelines on a broken / fractured arm !!!!



Broken arm or wrist
Get medical advice as soon as possible if you think you have broken your arm or wrist. Any possible breaks need to be treated as soon as possible. It's not always clear if your arm or wrist is broken or just sprained so it's important to get your injury looked at by a healthcare professional.

Urgent advice:Get advice from 111 now if:
You have had an injury to your arm or wrist and:

the injury is very painful
there is a large amount of swelling or bruising
you cannot use the affected arm or wrist due to the pain
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.

Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.

Other ways to get help
Immediate action required:Go to A&E or call 999 if:
the affected arm or wrist is numb, is tingling or has pins and needles
you have a bad cut that is bleeding heavily
a bone is sticking out of your skin
your arm or wrist has changed shape or is at an odd angle
Things to do while you're waiting to see a doctor
Do
use a towel as a sling to support the affected arm – The St John Ambulance website has more information about how to make an arm sling

gently hold an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel) to the injured area for up to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours

stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean pad or dressing if possible

remove any jewellery such as rings or watches – your fingers, wrist or hand could swell up

take paracetamol for the pain

Don’t
do not eat or drink anything in case you need surgery to fix the bone when you get to hospital

do not try to use the affected arm or wrist

Treatment for a broken arm or wrist
When you get to hospital the affected arm will be placed in a splint to support it and stop any broken bones from moving out of position.

You will also be given painkilling medicines for the pain.

An X-ray is then used to see if there is a break and how bad that break is.

A plaster cast can be used to keep your arm in place until it heals – sometimes this may be done a few days later, to allow any swelling to go down first. You may be given a sling to support your arm.

A doctor may try to fit the broken bones back into place with their hands before applying a splint or cast – you will be given medicine before this happens so you will not feel any pain. If you had a very bad break surgery may be carried out to fix broken bones back into place.

Before leaving hospital, you'll be given painkillers to take home and advice on how to look after your cast.

Find out how to take care of your plaster cast

You'll be asked to attend follow-up appointments to check how your arm or wrist is healing.

How long does it take to recover from a broken arm or wrist?
In most cases it takes around 6 to 8 weeks to recover from a broken arm or wrist. It can take longer if your arm or wrist was severely damaged.

You will need to wear your plaster cast until the broken bone heals. The skin under the cast may be itchy for a few days but this should pass.

The hospital will give you an advice sheet on exercises you should do every day to help speed up your recovery.

Your arm or wrist may be stiff and weak after the cast is removed. A physiotherapist can help with these problems, although sometimes they can last several months or more.

Things you can do to help during recovery
Do
try to keep your hand raised above your elbow whenever possible; use a pillow at night to do this

follow any exercise advice you have been given

use the painkillers you have been given to ease pain

Don’t
do not get your cast wet – waterproof cast covers are available from pharmacies

do not use anything to scratch under the cast as this could lead to an infection

do not drive or try to lift heavy items until you have been told it is safe to do so

Read more about how to look after your plaster cast

Urgent advice:Get advice from 111 now if:
the pain in your arm or wrist gets worse
your temperature is very high or you feel hot and shivery
your cast breaks, or the cast feels too tight or too loose
your fingers, wrist and arm start to feel numb
your fingers, wrist and arm look swollen or turn blue or white
there's a bad smell or discharge of liquid from under your cast
111 will tell you what to do. They can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone.
Thanks dude. I have been taking ibuprofen for the swelling and [substantial] pain. But from what you've posted it does sound more like a sprain. Thanks!
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Probably a bit late now for the icing, but it's still worth giving it a go. The reason I asked about the bottom of your thumb is that you have a bone in your wrist called the scaphoid which can get broken if you fall on an outstretched hand and can cause serious problems down the line if it goes untreated. As I said, it's probably just a simple sprain which will get better on its own with rest and a bit of care, but don't hesitate to see your GP (as your injuries unit is crap) if it doesn't feel like it's getting better in a week or so.

And no problems - glad to help
Thanks. Yeah I'm thinking sprain too. :yy: I don't think it's a scaphoid injury either so there's that at least. :dontknow:
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Allyson2020
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Thanks dude. I have been taking ibuprofen for the swelling and [substantial] pain. But from what you've posted it does sound more like a sprain. Thanks!
All you can do is keep eye on things and continue with the pain relief untill it feels painless and if and only if it still bothering you then contact NHS 111 for further guidance as they will tell you what to do if required.

No worries and hopefully it will settle down for you soon x
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Allyson2020)
All you can do is keep eye on things and continue with the pain relief untill it feels painless and if and only if it still bothering you then contact NHS 111 for further guidance as they will tell you what to do if required.

No worries and hopefully it will settle down for you soon x
when you say "until it feels painless" how long should I give it would you say?

I live in the US so no 111.
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Allyson2020
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
when you say "until it feels painless" how long should I give it would you say?

I live in the US so no 111.
Whatever your USA healthcare advise / helpline is call that ok or speak to your doctor.

It should settle within a week to three weeks depending on how badly you hurt things.
You'll know of it feeling still sore with pain when you moving your arm / hand about.
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Allyson2020)
Whatever your USA healthcare advise / helpline is call that ok or speak to your doctor.

It should settle within a week to three weeks depending on how badly you hurt things.
You'll know of it feeling still sore with pain when you moving your arm / hand about.
Oh man...3 weeks without the gym.

Thanks for the tips!
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Allyson2020
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Oh man...3 weeks without the gym.

Thanks for the tips!
Bit of advise - don't do any gym stuff till at least it is better as believe me you'll do more damage than good if you do.
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Allyson2020)
Bit of advise - don't do any gym stuff till at least it is better as believe me you'll do more damage than good if you do.
Yeah, I'm trying to lose weight so have been swimming 4 times a week and lifting weights 2 times a week. But I've done nothing since Monday. Just annoying having to take time off.
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Allyson2020
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Yeah, I'm trying to lose weight so have been swimming 4 times a week and lifting weights 2 times a week. But I've done nothing since Monday. Just annoying having to take time off.
Ok
I think swimming should be fine say later next week as see how it is but keep of the weights etc till you are lot better.. You could just go a good walk instead for time being !!!
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Sabertooth
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(Original post by Allyson2020)
Ok
I think swimming should be fine say later next week as see how it is but keep of the weights etc till you are lot better.. You could just go a good walk instead for time being !!!
Maybe. RN it hurts too much to even make swimming motions not in water so I think it'd be agonizing in the water.

It's 38C where I live :laugh: Not gonna walk. But thanks for trying!!
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Allyson2020
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(Original post by Sabertooth)
Maybe. RN it hurts too much to even make swimming motions not in water so I think it'd be agonizing in the water.

It's 38C where I live :laugh: Not gonna walk. But thanks for trying!!
Ok if it hurting RN then don't do anything till it better okay ..!!

Oh well 38C but yet I we had nearly 30 degree end of last week and I went a nice long walk in it but obviously not as hot as where you are. Yeah I'm trying to assist you for excersing !!!
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