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Swollen wrist after injury. What is the treatment in case of a fracture?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
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I punched a door, (very dumb I know!! And SO VERY unlike me) but its swollen and bruise has come up between my ring & middle fingers as well as a small bruise on the outside of my wrist, around the little knuckle thing at the end of my arm where it connects to
The hand. I can move it fine, I'm sure it's probably fractured, but my question is what r they gonna do for it at the Hospital??
Posted Sun, 15 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your question.

Getting an Xray would be the primary way of getting to know whether you have a fracture or you don’t. If the swelling does not subside in a few days with medicines or if the pain does not go and movements are restricted, then there is high probability of fracture.

It all depends on the force of the punch. Bones are otherwise a very strong material to break. The bruises are not the concern, they heal well by simply keeping them dry and clean.

In the hospital, they would first clinically examine you, then they would take an Xray to confirm if they suspect a fracture. Then depending on the location, type and severity they would decide whether it can be managed in a plaster cast or needs a surgical fixation. These are the normal protocol of events in an orthopaedic OPD.

We must now focus on diagnosing the condition first. If it’ s not a fracture then you might just need little rest, immobilisation, crepe bandage support for a few days along with anti-inflammatory medicines. And the knuckle like structure you mentioned at the junction of forearm and hand on the outer side of wrist is called the ulnar styloid process. The impact of the blow travels from hand to wrist and causes a fracture sometimes.

Till the time you get to your orthopaedician, I would suggest you do not move your hand and wrist at all, use ice fomentation and keep it elevated above the elbow level.

Hope this helps you, if you have more queries I'm available for follow up.
Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.
Good day.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen wrist after injury. What is the treatment in case of a fracture? 1 hour later
Thank you so much for your help!! Luckily it honestly doesn't hurt all that bad and my range of motion hasn't been affected too much except my ring & pinky fingers won't make a tight fist. It happened about 24 hrs ago and in the last 8hrs or so the swelling has gotten a little bigger and in the past 3hrs the bruising has appeared. I didn't think there was a whole lot that could be done with those small bones in the hand UNLESS there was MAJOR breakage, kinda like a Broken Toe you basically just baby it a little until it feels better.... Thank u so much for your help, I just tonight found this site and I think it is GREAT!!!!
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 1 hour later
Hi there once again.
Thank you for your kind words sir, me and my team is honoured to be of service.

In my opinion if the pain is bearable without any medicines and swelling and bruises are the only complaints, we can wait for a day or two and observe the progress. If the swelling comes down and bruises disappear, you have nothing to worry about. For that you must follow my previous instructions viz. rest, ice fomentation, crepe support and elevation over elbow level. When I recommend rest, I mean no movements at the wrist and fingers whatsoever. Many a times, the pain appears after 24 hours past the trauma, in which case do no delay your visit to ER.
I wish you good luck and an early recovery, and hope you have not sustained a fracture. Feel free to get back to me, I'm available for consultation.
Good bye.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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