Pain 15 Years After Wrist Fracture

Patient

Q: About 15 years ago I broke my wrist but never had it casted. I am 40 years old now and still experience pain when playing tennis. Can I have the wrist re-broken and set so alleviate the pain?

Doctor

A:   As you have already assumed, your present wrist pain may be from a fracture that was improperly treated many years before. However, before undergoing any treatment your wrist pain needs to be evaluated by a physician. After a thorough medical history and examination, plain x-rays of the wrist should be done to ascertain the diagnosis. I suspect the x-rays will show early changes consistent with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis develops early when injured joints do not heal properly, which is likely what happened in your case. The treatment will involve appropriate anti-inflammatory drugs as well as physical therapy.

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