The Distal Radius is the end of the forearm bone that connects to the wrist bones below the thumb. Fractures of this bone are one of the most common fractures in the human body, accounting for about 20% of all fractures.
A Wrist Fracture typically occurs when there is trauma to the wrist, such as a fall onto an outstretched hand, car accidents, sports injuries, and certain medical conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer or bone infections can also weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures.
When this bone breaks, it can cause:
In more severe cases, the bone may be displaced, which can cause deformity or even a compound fracture (protrusion from the skin) and require surgical intervention.
Falls: Falling onto an outstretched hand is one of the most common causes of distal radius fractures. This can happen when slipping on ice, tripping on a sidewalk, or falling off a ladder.
Sports Injuries: Contact sports, such as football and hockey, can lead to distal radius fractures if the wrist is twisted or bent during a fall or collision.
Motor Vehicle Accidents: High-speed collisions or sudden stops in a car or motorcycle can cause the wrist to bend unnaturally and result in a fracture.
Osteoporosis: Weakening of the bones due to aging or certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, can increase the risk of fractures from even minor falls or accidents.
Overuse Injuries: Repetitive stress on the wrist, such as from playing tennis or typing, can cause small hairline fractures to develop over time.
Physical Assault: Intentional physical violence, such as punching or hitting, can result in distal radius fractures.
Work-related Rnjuries: Jobs that involve heavy lifting or the use of machinery, such as construction or manufacturing, can increase the risk of wrist fractures from accidents on the job.
Treatment for distal radius fractures depends on the severity of the injury. In some cases, a cast or splint may be sufficient to immobilize the wrist and allow the bone to heal. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to Reduce (realign) the bone and stabilize it with Internal or External Fixtures (pins, plates, or screws).
After treatment, physical therapy may be necessary to help restore strength and range of motion to the wrist. This can involve exercises and stretches to improve flexibility and strength. Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the fracture and the type of treatment used.