Non-operative wrist fracture treatment

When a wrist is broken, surgery may not be needed if the bones are in position already. Distal radius fracture and scaphoid fracture are two common types of wrist fractures.

If an x-ray shows that the bones haven’t moved out of position, your doctor may just give you a cast to keep your wrist in position while the bone heals. The length of time the cast will stay on will depend on your break, but it will probably last at least several weeks for distal radius fractures and up to six months for scaphoid fractures. The doctor will take x-rays to make sure the bone is healing correctly in the cast.

Your doctor will also tell you ways to reduce the pain, such as taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Follow your doctor’s advice on pain management.

Doing physical and hand therapy will help your hand and wrist work again. You may be given finger exercises to do while you have a cast on, and you will have a physical and hand therapy routine after the cast is removed.

It may be a few months before your hand is feeling better.

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