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Broken wrist (colles fracture): Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About broken wrist (colles fracture)

A broken wrist refers to a break in any of the bones at the wrist joint. The most common type of broken wrist is a fracture of the wrist end of the radius which is one of the bones of the forearm. Other fractures like that of scaphoid bone, which is one of the wrist bones, is also encountered.

Broken wrist (colles fracture): Incidence, age and sex

The incidence of colles fracture seems to be quite high among the general population. It can occur in any age group; however, it is more common in children and older adults.

Signs and symptoms of broken wrist (colles fracture): Diagnosis

An individual with broken wrist will present with a history of fall or wrist injury. Person may experience pain and reduction in the grip of hands. It is advisable to consult a specialist who will perform a detailed physical examination of the affected wrist. Other clinical features include swelling of the affected wrist and increased angulation of the arm. The specialist may advice for an x-ray of the wrist to confirm the diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of broken wrist (colles fracture)

The most common cause of colles fracture is a direct fall on hand with its backward and outward position. It may also be encountered in vehicular accidents. It is commonly associated with certain sports like skating, gymnastics and running.

Broken wrist (colles fracture): Complications

Colles fracture should never be neglected since it may result in serious and chronic complications if left untreated. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the common complications which may arise due to compression of the nerve in the hand. This may result in tingling and numbness sensation in the fingers. Sometimes, injury of the cartilage at the wrist joint may cause arthritis which may be longstanding. Some affected individuals may also complain of longstanding wrist pain and stiffness. Moreover malunion of the fracture can also result in change in the wrist shape.

Broken wrist (colles fracture): Treatment

The treatment of colles fracture includes cold compress and analgesics which may help in minimising pain and swelling. Splinting the wrist in normal resting position may be needed in some individuals. Elevation of the wrist with its minimal movement may also help in healing of the fracture. Medications like calcium and vitamin D may aid in quick healing. A colles fracture usually takes a long time to heal completely.

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