13 Apr Occupational Therapy for Wrist Fractures
It may come as a natural instinct to stick out your hand to brace for a fall. However, doing this can lead to painful wrist fractures. People of all ages can fracture their wrists for a variety of reasons. At East End Occupational Therapy, our specialized hand therapists can help you make a successful recovery through occupational therapy. We offer a myriad of treatments for upper extremity and hand conditions. Continue reading to learn about occupational therapy for wrist fractures.
What is a Wrist Fracture?
One of the most common types of bone fractures is a distal radius fracture. Distal radius fractures can be classified as Colles or Smith fractures depending on the angle of the break. A Colles fracture usually results from direct impact to your palm, like when you fall on an outstretched hand. A Smith fracture is less common and results from an impact to the back of your wrist, such as falling on a bent wrist. Some of the symptoms of a distal radius fracture include:
- Immediate pain following the impact. The area is tender when touched.
- Swelling and bruising around the wrist.
- Visible deformity.
Treating Wrist Fractures
Several factors influence the decisions on how to treat this injury. In any event, the immediate treatment is to apply a splint to control pain and provide comfort. If your fracture is displaced, it will be set back into the correct position before splinting. If your fracture is in a good place, a splint or cast can serve as a treatment until the bone is fully healed. The cast can stay on for up to six weeks. Your doctor will then provide you with a removable wrist splint to wear for support. Once the cast is removed, occupational therapy can begin to help restore proper wrist strength and function. Surgery may be deemed necessary if your fracture is unstable or can’t be treated with a cast. The fracture is put together with one or more plates and screws. After this procedure, a splint will be placed for two weeks until your follow-up visit. Once the area has healed significantly, you can start occupational therapy.
Occupational Therapy for Wrist Fractures
Our team is concerned with helping our patients participate in the things they need and want to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. While physical therapy focuses on your injury, occupational therapy focuses on treating your impairments while additionally focusing on improving your ability to perform daily tasks. After a fracture, your wrist will be weak at first, and you may struggle to function. Your first occupational therapy appointment will likely involve an evaluation of your injury. Your therapist will then determine which activities you have trouble performing and create a personalized treatment program to ensure improved functional outcomes that will allow you to return to a productive lifestyle. Here are some more examples of treatment you can encounter while working with our team:
- Postoperative care.
- Custom splinting.
- Prevention education.
- Electrical modalities.
- Ergonomic modifications.
- Manual therapy.
- Compressive therapy.
When you suffer a wrist fracture, you want to work with a team that will get you back to doing what you love efficiently. If you are struggling to complete your daily tasks, you shouldn’t struggle in silence! You should seek out the help of our team today!
By entrusting your rehabilitation with our experienced team of occupational therapists, you improve your chances of returning to your responsibilities and lifestyle quickly. At East End Occupational Therapy, our team will be here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your first session!