Wrist Fracture

Image of wrist to reflect a wrist fracture

In 1814, Dr. Abraham Colles wrote a scientific paper about wrist fractures. In doing so, wrist fractures—the ones that denote a break at the radius bone located in the forearm—are named after him. The Colles' wrist fracture isn't an uncommon malady, given that the older we get, the more frail and brittle our bones become. Fractures of the bones happen, and they can be quite debilitating depending upon their severity. Read on to learn more about wrist fractures and their necessary treatments.

What is a wrist fracture?

There are various kinds of wrist fractures. To find out which one you have, you'll need to come in for a consultation with Dr. Eubanks. Wrist fractures vary in severity, and typically fall into one of the following categories:

Preventing a wrist fracture from happening in the first place

In an ideal world, prevention is the best medicine. If you endure a wrist fracture, and want to lower your risk for another one, consider these natural forms of preventative medicine:

What puts you at risk for a wrist fracture?

Signs you're suffering from a wrist fracture

If you've sustained a wrist fracture, you may find it difficult to get your grip. You might not be able to hold onto anything, and find it hard to go about daily activities. Bruising, swelling, and various degrees of pain are telltale signs you've endured a wrist fracture. You may also notice a deformity, as the wrist can become abnormally bent.

What are the various treatments for a wrist fracture?

Treatments run the gamut. From non-invasive, DIY remedies, to full fledged surgery. Let's take a look at what treatment might be best for you.

At-home treatment

Non-invasive treatments

A reduction may be the best treatment for moderate fractures that don't need full-blown surgery. This non-invasive treatment involves straightening the bone with a splint if there’s a deformity. The splint allows for necessary healing and straightening, after which, a cast is needed as the next step. Typically, you'll wear a cast for a few weeks, and then you're good!


Dr. Eubanks will recommend surgery if the fracture is severe enough. Procedure varies depending upon the degree of the break. Dr. Eubanks will make an incision in the area of your wrist where you feel your pulse. Plates and screws are put into place to hold the broken bones together. If a second incision is needed, it will happen on the back of the wrist. In really severe cases, plates and screws may not do the trick. An external fixator with external wiring holds the bones in place in this instance.

Post-op recovery and physical therapy

Recovery and healing after surgery can take time—for some, more than a year. This is normal, and should be expected so as not to disappoint you. Some activities will be easy just a month or two after surgery, whereas others won't come naturally for six months, and still others, up to a year or beyond. Have compassion for yourself during the healing process post-operation. It's not easy for anyone to sustain an injury that requires surgery, and it's best to understand that and have patience for this reality.

You may even need physical therapy, which can be incredibly beneficial for your body, mind, and spirit. Working with a physical therapist will not only provide relief from pain, but also give your mind something to focus on. Goals for healing set by a good physical therapist will uplift you, and even teach you ways to prevent injury going forward. If physical therapy is needed, Dr. Eubanks will recommend a physical therapist you can count on.

Our Surgeon Specializing in Wrist Fracture

Image of Dr. Ryan Eubanks, Hand, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Ryan Eubanks, DO
  • Hand, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
  • Mesa
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