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What is a Distal Radius Fracture?—Bellevue Orthopedic Surgeons

Bellevue Orthopedic Surgeons With 206 bones in the human body, and the active lifestyle of many, there’s little wonder that broken bones occur. Your elite Bellevue orthopedic surgeons at Bellevue Bone and Joint Physicians (BBJP) share some interesting facts about the wrist, a common injury experienced, and treatment options available.

The wrist:

  • The primary hinge for the hand, providing mobility and dexterity.
  • Made up of 8 small bones along with 2 bones in the forearm.
  • The forearm bones are the radius and the ulna.
  • The radius is the larger of the 2 bones. The end that supports the wrist is called the distal radius.

The injury:

  • The distal radius in one of the most commonly broken bones in the human body.
  • The fracture usual occurs from force applied on the wrist from falling down on an outstretched hand, but can also occur from sports activities, car accidents or other events resulting in high impact.
  • The fracture is usually accompanied by significant pain, swelling, bruising and a decreased ability to use the wrist or hand.

The treatment:

  • X-rays are required to diagnose the location and extent of the injury/fracture.
  • If the joint surface isn’t involved, and the fracture can be reduced by manipulation, casting alone can provide excellent treatment.
  • Other fractures may require surgery if the joint is displaced, or the bone needs to be properly set and/or stabilized. In most cases, the surgery can be performed as an outpatient, and requires the placement of a metal plate, screws or pins.
  • Pain medication may be prescribed as necessary.
  • Physical therapy can commonly be required to regain satisfactory strength and mobility.

Distal radial fractures may be common, but that doesn’t mean the injury should be taken lightly. Proper diagnosis and treatment are vital facets of the recovery process, and the Bellevue orthopedic surgeons at BBJP have the expertise and services to get your bones & joints back on track. Book an appointment today.