Your wrist is made up of eight bones. They attach to the bones in your forearm and the bones in your hand. A fracture is a break in a bone. When you break your wrist, you may have broken the ends of the forearm bones (radius or ulna) or one of the eight wrist bones.
The usual causes of a wrist fracture are:
Your wrist is painful and swollen. When the navicular bone is fractured, the area below the thumb is tender.
Your healthcare provider will examine your wrist and review your symptoms. An X-ray of your wrist may show a fracture. Sometimes a fracture may not show up in the first X-ray and your healthcare provider may recommend that you have a repeat X-ray in 1 to 2 weeks.
Wrist fractures may take 6 to 12 weeks or longer to heal. Some fractures do not heal and require surgery. Some people may develop stiffness in their wrist.
Everyone recovers from an injury at a different rate. Return to your normal activities depends on how soon your wrist recovers, not by how many days or weeks it has been since your injury has occurred. The goal is to return to your normal activities as soon as is safely possible. If you return too soon you may worsen your injury.
You may return to your normal activities when you have full range of motion in your wrist without pain. Your injured wrist, hand, and forearm need to have the same strength as the uninjured side. If you return to using your wrist too soon after a wrist fracture there could be problems with healing. It is very important to be sure that none of your activities cause wrist pain or tenderness.
Call your healthcare provider if:
Most wrist fractures are caused by accidents that you cannot easily prevent. However, when you do activities such as rollerblading, be sure to wear protective wrist guards.