Broken Wrist

Broken Wrist Overview

The distal radius and scaphoid are two important wrist bones. A broken wrist happens when either of the bones is fractured. A broken wrist is a serious injury that requires medical attention. An appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) should be made as soon as possible.

Symptoms & Causes

Broken wrist symptoms include:

  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Common broken wrist causes include:

  • A fall on an outstretched hand
  • Boardsports injuries
  • Contact sports injuries
  • Skating sports injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat wrist fractures when the bone is not displaced. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA hand specialist may recommend:

  • Immobilization in a cast, splint or brace
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Hand therapy (after immobilization)

Surgery may be recommended to treat fractures when the bone is displaced. A CONA specialist reduces and fixates the fracture with pins or a small plate and screws.


X-rays are an important part of a broken wrist diagnosis. A CONA specialist orders and analyzes wrist x-rays from the front, back, and side views to diagnose and classify the fracture. The patient’s medical history is obtained and if possible, a physical examination of the wrist is performed.

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