Broken or fractured wrists are common injuries because people naturally reach out with their arms to cushion the blow when they trip or fall.
If you suffer a wrist fracture, you will have immediate pain and possibly swelling, bruising or tenderness. If your bone breaks through your skin, see a doctor or visit an urgent care center right away to reduce risk of infection.
In a mild break, you may only need a splint or cast to stabilize the bone until it heals. If your fracture is more severe, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon who will take x-rays to determine the best treatment for you.
If your bone has moved out of its normal position, the surgeon will need to reposition the bone so it heals properly. The surgeon will either move your bone from the outside or will make an incision to reposition your bone from the inside. After setting your bone, the surgeon will put on a splint or cast that you will wear for approximately six weeks.
If your break is more complicated, you may need surgery. The doctor will determine the best method to repair the fracture and may use hardware such as pins, screws or plates to hold your bone together. You will likely need to wear a cast to stabilize your wrist area after surgery.
During the recovery process, you may need additional x-rays so the surgeon can make sure your fracture heals correctly. After your cast is removed, you may experience stiffness in your wrist area. With time, most people can resume regular activities. Talk to your doctor about what level of activity you can expect after your injury heals.