Hand Therapists Help Wrist Fractures Heal

Wrist fractures are one of the most common broken bone injuries and can happen to people of any age or state of health. This type of injury can happen any number of ways, but these fractures are most frequently associated with a fall, or a FOOSH  injury (a fall on outstretched hand). Here in the Midwest, falls occur more often in the winter months, usually related to poor balance and ice.   

Wrist fractures can become debilitating and can limit daily activities if not treated properly. Even after the fracture heals, you may experience complications, including:

– Swelling

– Pain

– Loss of mobility

– Loss of grip strength

These complications can lead to a loss of functional activities: difficulty opening jars, difficulty cooking, buttoning clothes or any other activities involving fine motor skills.  

Usually after a wrist fracture, the patient will initially be treated by a physician, who will either immobilize the wrist to allow for the bone to heal, or they will receive an open reduction, internal fixation (volar plate). After either treatment, rehabilitation is an important next step. The volar plate allows the patient to begin the rehab process sooner, and the physician may then refer the patient to a certified hand therapist (CHT), who has advanced training in the hand, wrist, and elbow. 

The CHT is the premier rehabilitation choice for any conditions involving the hand, wrist or upper extremity. A CHT has completed a rigorous course of study combing specialized classes along with many hours of documented clinical practice involving hand conditions, finally passing a certification examination to achieve the title CHT. Thanks to this specialist training, patients will see a difference when treated by a CHT, especially one who will spend one-on-one time to fully evaluate their condition and address their needs and concerns. 

The CHT will develop a plan to address any impairments from the wrist fracture, reducing pain, improving mobility, restoring strength and improving function.  They will provide a home exercise program to maintain progress made through treatment and they complete a comprehensive examination to measure range of motion, strength, edema, and function.

If you’ve suffered a wrist fracture or have experienced any other pain or loss of function in your hand, wrist or arm, we can help! Call us for a free consultation or schedule an appointment to begin treatment today!