Broke both wrists

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I'm 74 years old and May the 30th I fell and dislocated and broke my left wrist and broke my right wrist. I was in the hospital over night. They set my left wrist so it wasn't dislocated then splinted both of them for a week. At the end of the week the orthopedic surgeon Xrayed and put them in casts for 3 weeks. Then back to the dr Xrayed and put in casts for 3 more weeks. The dr said my wrists weren't completely straight but felt no pinning was necessary. After casts were off I had 6 weeks of in home therapy. It was EXTREMELY PAINFUL for the 1st couple weeks. I couldn't touch my thumbs without tearing up. Soooo come down to date ~~ my fingers still hurt, The dr said I had some arthritis in my hands. I can't lift much my strength is barely 1/2 of what it used to be. My wrists hurt if doing very much. My aim was to drive the car and I was finally able to after 3 months. I'm very discouraged because of the pain I have and the lack of strength. When the pain gets too much I stand and run hot water over then to ease the pain. Don't tell me ice them because that causes EXTREME PAIN that won't go away. I have problem with cold anyway and my fingers turn white when I get cold. The "real me" is just NOT here!! I'm a person who's always been on the go and doing things all my life, and now I feel like such a nothing. Is there anyone my age that's had 2 broken wrists? If so how long has it been for recovery and back to doing NORMAL things? My therapist said I was doing great, but it's sure not MY kind of great. 

1 like, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    Miriam, you poor thing, my heart goes out to you. I understand how you are feeling & after 4 months I don't blame you for feeling this way.

    Where are you & are you getting any support?

    How are you managing in your day to day life?

    Do you have pain relief?

    I am 65 & broke my wrist last January. I wondered if it would ever be right again but I can tell you that it WILL get better & heal given time & physio.

    The physio & the exercises they give you are the key that will gradually unlock the stiffness & also build your strength back up.

    Hot water might be a comfort but it's the cold that will reduce the swelling & using both alternatively will get the blood flowing back to the healing site. If an ice pack is too cold for your arthritis try just cold water for a few minutes at a time.

    For me, it took 6 months to have a usable wrist, it's not as strong as it was but I hardly notice it now. Everyone heals at a different rate.

    I couldn't drive as quickly as you have but found a boned support made all the difference.

    Sincerely hope that you will soon turn the corner.

  • Posted

    That really is bad. Fractured arm and wrist. Thankfully it started to knit together so no op. Pushed into place. Told only 80per cent useable and wrist tilted a bit. Just started physio. One of them very very painfull. Also got arthritis too now. I have pain down middle of palm and puffy fingers Palm side. We both want everything now working, a bit longer and few more shouts before I think. Have you someone to tell how you feel? Morning seems to be worse after exercises relax less pain. use a heat pad instead of water, you have been given good news re therapy. Can you take Ibufren ani inflammatory tablets? Sorry I sound like a nosy person, don't mean to. The real you is there, this group will give you advise keep looking on it. Wish you well 
    • Posted

      Both Jenny & Miriam,

      I was also told likely to get 80% back but I'm pleased to say, apart from it aching after a days digging, it is 99% healed. I think they say that as it's what they  will settle for.

      The swelling was a pain & would be worst in mornings but gradually that also subsided.

      When I asked physio about the swelling she said about a year.

      When I asked the dexa scan woman, who had also broken her wrist 10yrs ago,how long recovery took, she said 2yrs.

      So much depends on the injury, age, exercise, blood supply, gen health, etc that it is difficult to make comparisons.

  • Posted

    Not got patience....broke left one twelves years ago ....As right handed I am frustrated how many things are hard! Spreading bread is a joke. I can wash my hair and don't need my food cutting up....and exercising ....heaven knows what the builders back way think as I wave my hand like the the summer I walked round the garden to get breeze blowing up. It helped 😄
  • Posted

    Okay gals ~~ for starters ~~ From the time I left the hospital until now there's been ONLY ONE TIME I used anything for pain. That was 2 days out of the hospital, when I was riding in the car and my hubby had to make an immediate STOP on the freeway. My arms flung forward jerking them. I hurt for several hours so took 3 Advil and took a nap. When I woke there wasn't the pain. I don't take pain meds because I need to be careful of UTI's. In the beginning I used eucalyptus essential oil. I guess you can say I'd nearly "bathed" in it. That's the only thing that would help me through the pain. 

    I've been making my own bread since the last week of my therapy. I told my therapist about it and she thought that was wonderful exercise. I'll explain ~~ I put the ingredients together then pop it into the breadmaker and let it stir it together. After it's altogether I take it out and knead it 300 times. YES I struggle and it does hurt but my understanding it's a "good exercise"!! So I do this 2 more times and put it in the oven to bake. Sometimes brushing my teeth really hurts because if the brush handle presses on the bone below my thumb it's super painful. I'm right handed so that hand gets the most exercise "abuse" neutral

    Lifting pots and pans is awful sad I struggle through washing dishes.

    Cutting things with scissors is painful if hitting that bone. 

    Vacuuming is BAD sad I've invested in a Swiffer broom/vac, my daughter has one and she recommended it. I do pretty well with that. Hubby does other vacuuming. 

    One of our daughters came from Virginia (we live in Texas, Houston area) and was with me from 2 weeks after my accident till the middle of August. It's terrible when you can do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for yourself. Hubby did for me till she got here. From blowing my noise (1st 2 weeks) to toileting for 2 1/2 months sad I GREATLY SYMPATHIZE with anything one who has 2 broken wrists. 

    I just worry I won't be able to screw on/off lids, lift things as before, or use my right hand properly because that thumb doesn't go out like the left one does. It makes for holding a glass or cup very difficult. you can see in the photo what it looks like. 

    Sorry to chatter on so much but just wanted to express things that I didn't the 1st time. 

  • Posted

    Pots and pans are a no no. Struggled and put c old water in it using a jug. Draining no way!  Trying to spread bread painfull,middle of hand not happy!

    Under middle and ring finger swells and bone is hard. I wouldn't knead bread any time 😄 Would eat it though. I get a bath sponge get it full of warm water and squeeze. Also float hand in warm water. Only take pills end of day as it aches badly. Other than that nothing. Done some chores but not hoovering, never thought I could wash. Y hair or clean teeth, thee latter so much fun. Not. Dentist this week...

    off to exercise.   😔

    • Posted

      When did you say you broke your wrist? or thumb? Do you mind me asking your age? By the way my hands are feeling much better today. I've not checked the barometer yet but that does has somewhat to do with my hands. When it goes up generally they hurt more. Another thing ~~ I've been taking liquid glucosamine. I had stopped for a couple days and I think that had something to do with more pain.
  • Posted

    Wrist and arm August 6th. Plaster for 4 weeks, splint for 2. Physio after that. Saw her once, got sheet, back in 3. Never told me how long to use splint for. Decided if I go out and bed time as I am a restless sleeper. Doing whatever isn't too demanding. I.e  hoovering. Opening jars and bottles so hard, do what wrist allows me. Can't spread bread. Too painfull but keep trying. I am 62, broke the other one 12yrs back and didn't have this much fun! Do what I can til pain says stop. 
    • Posted

      Gracious me this doesn't sound good to me ~~~ I'm ever, sooooo SORRY 🌹🌹

      My splints were on above my elbows and down to my fingertips for ONE WEEK. Then saw orthopedic surgeon and he took off the splints and Xrayed both ~~said the bones were slightly crooked but okay. They cast both wrists from middle of hand to about an inch or so from my elbow. That was for 3 weeks. Back to orthopedic surgeon ~~ Xrayed again recast me for 3 more weeks. I then began in home physical therapy 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Back for checkup with orthopedic surgeon and he released me, saying I was doing well. Then I asked if I could still have physical therapy so had 3 times a week for another 3 weeks. I continue on my own doing hand and finger exercises. 

      Do do you have an exercise plan you can work at home with? Or do you have in home therapy? 

  • Posted


    Alas~~just want to tell y'all I'm doing a lot better. Well I have to!! My wrists are better, so all of you who've had this type of break HANG IN THERE. I didn't think I'd EVER be better. NO I'm not back to what all I used to do but definitely can do more things. We've bought a new house and are in the process of moving from an apt of which we're so grateful. We'd been home owners for 50 years and apt living is extremely hard. Also my husband has been in the hospital twice of late and I've HAD TO do A LOT. Our mentally disabled daughter has also had hand/wrist issues and we've had to take her up to Houston ~~ over an hour away and I needed to do most all driving. It was decided by the specialist it's mostly nerve~~and massaging it with Blue Emu would be more helpful than the brace she was wearing, which has prove right. THEN~~~I queried him on my wrists. He told me using a heated paraffin wax would be very helpful. Also heat or running hot water over them. This specialist is one of the top doctors in the area. He's also now working with our son in law who had an extremely bad motorcycle accident. Which I think I mentioned in one of my posts. The woman run a red light and he ran into her which threw him 30 feet, breaking his bike in 1/2. He had all his gear on otherwise he'd not be alive today. He's been in a care center 2 months going on 3. 2 broken legs, broken ankle, broke wrist, 2 broken thumbs.

    I've heard so much about "cold treatment" but I can't stand cold, never have fingers even get white with cold. So he really hit the nail on the head for me. I've been lifting and carrying things I didn't know I'd be able to. YES~~they do hurt some afterwards but I rest up and then go at it again the next day. The end of this month will be 6 months since my accident and 4 months without casts.

    YES there's hope for y'all HANG IN THERE and GOOD LUCK 🌹 

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