Wrist fracture Treatment Options

Patient

Q: Hi, with a shattered wrist what are the chances it heals to the point of functional without surgery. I fractured it 5 days ago, I am a 27 year old male with plenty of sports injuries in the past so I am used to a bit of pain. I have pretty good movement in my fingers given it's been pretty recently since the accident. And if it is a toss up whether or not to try and let it heal by itself, what are any negatives of deciding to get surgery say a few years down the road when I have better financial means to cover it? Again, pretty good finger movement with not too much pain, large swell right around the wrist joint, no forearm or elbow pain. Can I roll the dice and let it heal in a cast?- by the way I typed this with both hands with little discomfort. Thank you for your help!

Doctor

A:   While your symptoms suggest that you may indeed have a fracture, it is not clear if you have had a x-ray or other tests to confirm the injury. The wrist joint is made up of several bones and the treatment varies according the bone fractured. Improperly treated fractures may not heal or result in complications such as early arthritis. You should seek out an orthopedic surgeon to completely assess your injury and advice you on the appropriate therapy which may or may not include surgery.

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