wrist fracture, how to diagnose it, and methods of treatment

wrist fracture, how to diagnose it, and methods of treatment

A hand joint fracture is a fracture in one of the wrist bones located within the joint, or fractures may be in the ulna or radial bone, which are common fractures that cause joint or bone pain.

The fracture of the hand joint wrist fracture It is one of the common fractures in childhood due to falling on the hand while it is extended backward, causing a fracture of the hand in children, which may occur in the wrist joint or at one end of the ulna or radius. Also, the incidence of fracture in the hand joint is high in women over the age of 50. years or in men over the age of 65 years as a result of aging and osteoporosis.

In this article we will present what it is Wrist fracture What are the types of hand fractures and the symptoms of wrist fractures? How to treat a broken hand joint?

wrist fracture information

The hand joint consists of the seven carpal bones and the distal part of the forearm bones. Where the wrist bones consist of the scaphoid, crescent, triangular, trapezoid, square, canine, and large bones, while the distal part of the forearm bones consists of the ulna and the radius bone, where the forearm bones connect between the wrist joint at the bottom and the elbow joint or elbow at the top, but the radius is involved in the wrist joint more than the ulna and the ulna is involved in the elbow joint more than the radius.

We notice from the picture that the joint of the hand consists of seven carpal bones, which are the triangular, large, canine, scaphoid, quadrate, trapezoid and lunate. The ulna and the humerus are also involved in its lower end in the joint of the hand.
Image of the bones of the hand and the normal wrist joint

A hand joint fracture is a fracture in the wrist or a crack in one of the wrist bones of the hand or the forearm bones, where the fracture may be altered or not, and the bone fracture is often severely painful—fingers or with an arm fracture such as a forearm fracture.

A radiograph of the hand, in which we note the presence of an unaltered fracture in the scaphoid bone inside the hand joint
A photograph of a hand fracture shows a fracture of the scaphoid bone in the wrist

that broken wrist Or a broken hand often occurs due to a fall on the hand while it is outstretched, and some fractures may be more severe than others depending on the weight of the body and the severity of the fall to the fracture.

Types of wrist fracture

There are several types of fractures in the hand according to the method of breaking the hand and the reason for the fracture. Fractures are classified into several categories, the most important of which are:

  • Simple fracture: It is a closed fracture in which the bones break into two pieces without tearing the skin over the fracture or harming the tissues and muscles surrounding the fracture.
  • Compound fracture: It is an open fracture, also called a complex fracture, in which the bones are broken into several fragments, and damage occurs in the tissues and muscles surrounding the fracture. The skin over the fracture is torn, and bone fragments can be seen through the laceration.
  • Complete fracture: the bones are completely separated into two or more pieces. It is also called a commutative fracture.
  • Partial fracture: the bones are only cracked and not divided into two pieces, also called a non-displaced fracture.
  • Intra-articular fracture: It is a fracture that affects the surface of the wrist joint and causes damage to some cartilage, such as fractures of the joints of the hand or the fracture of the navicular bone in the hand.
  • Extra-articular fracture: a fracture that does not extend into the joint, such as a metatarsal fracture.

Causes of wrist fracture

The causes of hand joint fractures vary according to the patient's age and the nature of his work. The most important reasons that cause a wrist fracture are:

  • A direct and sudden fall on the outstretched hand results in several fractures in the bones of the wrist or hand, and it is one of the most common causes in children.
  • Infection with some diseases such as disease Osteoporosis Which may cause a fracture of the hand joint, and this is a common reason for the elderly.
  • Exposure to severe direct trauma, which may cause Torn hand ligaments Fractures in adults occur when practicing some sporting activities, such as basketball or mountain climbing, which may also result Metatarsal fracture In addition to Hand broken or fingers

Symptoms of wrist fracture

The symptoms of a broken hand include signs of a fractured finger, and there are several symptoms that the patient may suffer from, depending on the severity of the fracture, and the most important signs are:

  • Swelling and bruising around the fracture site
  • Finger color change
  • A change in the shape of the hand, as a wrist fracture, may lead to a deformity of the joint
  • Hand fracture pain, which is sharp and immediate pain after the fracture
  • Numbness and tingling in the palm and fingers

Signs of wrist fracture

The signs of a broken hand are clear and distinct and are observed by the examining doctor, the most important of which are:

  • Pain when using the wrist or hand joint
  • Pain when moving the phalanges
  • Limit the range of motion of the affected joints
  • Pain when carrying things with the affected hand
  • Complete paralysis of the palm of the hand

Complications of wrist fracture

Complications of a hand wrist-fracture are rare and uncommon. They are found in cases of open, alternating, and high-risk fractures. The most important complications are:

  • Injury to the blood vessels or nerves surrounding the fracture
  • Pain and discomfort when moving the joint or injury inStiffness of the fingers
  • Tendon and muscle rupture surrounding the joint
  • osteomyelitis, Fractures within the joint may cause chronic arthritis and irritation Rheumatoid arthritis

wrist fracture treatment

There are different types of hand fracture treatment according to the type and severity of the fracture. Treatment is divided into two parts:

Conservative treatment

Conservative treatment is one of the most common treatments for fractures of the hand joint. This is done through splinting, and it includes the following:

  • When there is a fracture in the hand is often treated conservatively without resorting to surgical treatment, whereas when you have a broken hand or fractures in the joints. The fractures are simple and unaltered; then the hand is splinted by immobilizing the hand as if it were carrying a cup, then cotton or gauze is placed in the middle of the palm Up to the middle of the forearm and wrap the gypsum over it.
  • When the fracture of the hands is altered, the fracture must be restored before the splint is applied, and the restoration is done after anesthesia by the orthopedic specialist.
  • The patient should eat food containing calcium andVitamin D The broken hand should not be moved for several days, noting the swelling and blueness that may affect the hand after the splint, then the doctor should be consulted.
We notice from the picture that the hand joint fracture splint is placed from the middle of the palm to the middle of the forearm, with the fingers of the hand outstretched
Image showing the shape of a hand joint fracture splint

Surgical treatment

Surgical treatment is resorted to after the failure of conservative treatment or in cases of open and severe fractures. The most important methods of treatment are:

  • Fracture stabilization surgery with screws, plates, screws, and rods, which is a simple and safe processFor internal fixation of bones
  • External rod and pin fixation surgery, where pins are placed above and below the broken wrist and attached to an external rod until the bone heals
Anterior and lateral radiograph showing plates placed on the lower end of the radial bone and secured with screws (internal fixation surgery)
Anterior and lateral radiographs after surgical treatment of a hand joint fracture

At the end of the article, a fracture of the hand joint is one of the most common fractures that may affect a person during childhood or among elderly people with osteoporosis. It is diagnosed through clinical examination and using a simple radiograph to confirm the diagnosis. CT or MRI may be used when complications are present, then After that, it is treated with hand splinting, and if treatment fails, surgical treatment has resorted to Surgical therapy.


  1. CHOP
  2. Michigan Medicine
  3. NewYork-Presbyterian

Common questions

The fracture of the joints in the hand is usually not serious and is considered dangerous if the fracture is variable, open and associated with many complications.

Treatment varies according to the pattern of fracture in the joints and the age of the patient, but often the fracture is treated by hand splinting, and when the fracture is serious, we resort to surgical treatment.

Healing of joint fractures in the hand usually takes 3 to 4 weeks with simple and uncomplicated fractures, depending on the age of the patient.

When conservative treatment fails to fracture the joints in the hand and when the wrist fracture is serious, surgical operations must be resorted to to maintain the integrity of the palm.

The duration of complete recovery of the broken hand and return to normal varies from one patient to another depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the fracture, but on average, the hand returns as it was in less than a month.

The hand returns to normal when the fracture is simple and does not contain complications, and when it is treated properly by the doctor, and the patient can move the joints in all directions.

Most joint fractures in the hand are splinted after examination by a doctor and confirmation of the fracture by simple radiographs.

The duration varies according to the age of the patient and the type and severity of the fracture, but most fractures require a splint for 3 to 4 weeks.

After the wrist fracture has fully healed, the joints in the hand can be moved in all directions, which may take several days.

can Treating joint pain in the hand or leg Using pain relievers or NSAIDs after medical advice.

Make an appointment with Dr. Çetin Işık
In Istanbul

Make an appointment with Dr. Çetin Işık
In Istanbul