A common skiing and snowboarding injury, a wrist fracture usually involves damage to the radius (one of two forearm bones), although there are other types of broken bones that can occur in this region.
Snowboarders are particularly vulnerable when they fall backwards and put out an arm to arrest their fall. In skiing, because of the grater speeds, it can happen in almost any fall.
Common symptoms of a wrist fracture will include:
- Pain in the area
- Deformity around the joint
If you present with these symptoms, a doctor will want to obtain x-rays of the injured area in order to make an accurate diagnosis. If bones are broken, the usual treatment will be the use of a cast. In many cases this will be all that is needed for the bones to heal properly. After the removal of the cast, you will need physiotherapy to restore strength and movement to the area.
With more complicated injuries, surgery may be needed. The simplest form of this is what is termed 'reducing' a break, where the surgeon puts the bones back into proper position, typically with the patient under either light sedation or local anaesthetic.
Whether the doctor decides on further surgery will depend on a number of factors, including:
- Age of the patient
- Physical demands on the joint
- Bone quality
- Location of the fracture
- Degree of displacement