Broken wrist...

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Hi.

Four weeks ago I fell over and broke my wrist. I had a fiberglass cast on for the first three weeks. However, this was taken off as I was experiencing pain and numbness in my thumb and fingers. 

I now have a brace supporting my thumb and wrist and it does feel slightly better than the cast.

I was first told that I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,although having seen a different consultant todayI have been told that as the main area of pain is towards my thumb (about two inches below my thumb) rather than in the middle of my wrist it isn't CPS. He thinks there is some nerve damage and has arranged for me to have four weeks of physiotherapy before they make a decision on what to do. 

I was wondering if anyone else has had this after a wrist fracture..and what the outcome was..

Thanks.

Nic

 

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    I had an injury to my wrist area extending to my thumb muscle area to a large extent. I had to use a brace for many years. At night I used to make a (bracelet) with magnets - the long pointed end but rounded kind. They would compress and take the swelling out of the area while I watched TV. To get the fit tight enough I used some that were sphere. I kept this on for a couple of hours and avoided using the hand much during that time. It really helped me.
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  • Posted

    H Nic,

    My troubles with my broken wrist are well documented in the fractured wrist discussions. I was in a tight fibreglass cast for 6 weeks, I had it changed because it was painful and uncomfortable.When it came off my wrist was stiff and I had pain also below my wrist, plus on the inside of my wrist.

    My wrist was broken on October & last year, and only now am I starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

    I was diagnosed with CRPS  (complex regional pain syndrome) which is a poorly understood complication.

    I have had much physio, acupuncture, and a pain controlling drug regime.

    My wrist is still very stiff, especially bending forwards, my fingers are really stiff, I have had muscle wastage in my hand and arm.

    The good news is that FINALLY I feel I am making real progress and I am feeling much more cheerful. I am trying to use my hand as much as possible.

    You probably don't have or won't get CRPS, but if you do get that diagnosis dont despair!!

    Chris

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  • Posted

    Thanks, Chris.

    Sorry for your troubles but happy to hear there is hope. I do fear that I have something bad because I have had xrays and the actual break is healing nicely. The amount of pain is incredible. May I ask what painkillers you take or have taken in the past as I have tried solpadol and tramadol without much success. I have been on lyrica for five years due to very severe anxiety issues.

    I feel pretty useless at the moment and worry that after another four weeks what will I be told? I may try some acupuncture as I have had this in the past and found it very good.

    Nic

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    • Posted

      Hallo Nic ,sorry to take so long to reply. I am on Lyrica also for pain, and also a small dose of Amytripyline also for pain at night. During the day I just take panadol or ibuprofen if necessary. I agree with mari-elaina that you are doing well for such a short time post fracture. I think the main thing is not to worry as we all seem to heal at different rates . I have stopped putting a time frame on getting back to normal function because that would make me too miserable (it's been 5 months for me) And I know I will eventually get back to normal.
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  • Posted

    Hello Nic,

    I would say you are doing really well after only 4 weeks. It is an extremely painful condition. I was helped over the first few weeks by taking 60mg codeine (prescribed) x 4 times daily, now I just have paracetamol. The swelling & bruising will naturally add to the discomfort & limit what finger excercises you can do.

    I was like you & expected too much too soon but after reading about others experiences realised that it is complex injury that does affect nerves, tendons & muscles that all take time to heal.   

    I will have been in the cast for almost 8 weeks by the time I go back to the clinic next week.

    I've written & read about my break in another thred you might find helpful, here is a link: 

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/distal-radius-ulna-styloid-fracture-360983?page=0#1065787

    Mari

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  • Posted

    Hi Nic

    i broke my right radius just over 4 weeks ago. I have had the fiberglass cast on for almost 4 weeks and it's due to come off in 10 days. I had a lot of what the consultant called nerve pain for the first 3 weeks or so. That has eased but I still get pain when I move my fingers, which are swollen, and also in certain positions I put my arm down. Also is gets sore under the cast near my thumb and on the opposite side of my wrist. Reading other posts, this doesn't seem to be unusual and recovery can take some time after the cast has been removed.

    i will keep you updated and look forward to hearing how you are getting on.

    i am having coffee with 2 friends who are nurses tomorrow and am interested in what they have to say.

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  • Posted

    My husband broke his right carpal tunnel bone riding motorcycle in the 80's. He was OK working until his cast was taken off. Then his arm felt too vulnerable, and he stopped working for a while. Physical therepy was important, but not enough or he didn't keep up with recommended exercises as he can not make a fist with that hand. Keep in mind you will only recover completely if you and your therepist are dilligent.
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  • Posted

    I just thought that when the cast came off all was well. My wrist feels very vulnerable without the brace on.

    I have now had almost five weeks off work. I feel that I am no way ready to go back to work looking after energetic toddlers. My main concern is work although it should be my wrist.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nic,

      The cast was there to keep your wrist stable while the bone healed, 3 weeks isn't very long for the cast to be removed even tho your doctor said it was healing well but support that replaced the cast will be doing much the same in keeping your wrist stable. 5 weeks isn't long when you consider there is also tissue damage, tendons & muscles etc all damaged too. Much depends on the type of fracture too but bear in mind that most casts are usually worn for 6 weeks except in the very young & then you will need physio therapy & exercises to get the blood flowing & regain full movement.

      I would keep the brace on unless you really feel you don't need it.

      It is a slow process but rest assured you will get there in the end. 

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  • Posted

    Nic

    i feel utterly useless. The cast is on for 9 more days and my hand is useless. I usually look after my 18 month old granddaughter two days a week, and meet the older one from school on those days. I have no idea when I am going to be able to do that so it is causing. Problem for my son and his wife. I struggle to do everything, don't sleep properly and am quite depressed. At least these posts have reassured me that the pain, swelling etc is common. 

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    • Posted

      Linda,

      I can sympathise with your feeling of uselessness & it's very natural to be depessed when you can't do so many normally easy things for yourself. Once the cast comes off you'll be able to have physio & things will start to improve but don't expect too much too soon. It takes time.

      I've been advised to take pain killers for the first few PT visits & I've bought myself an orthotics brace to give me confidence while wrist feels vulnerable.

      Some days I think my swollen knuckles are improving & I do the finger exercises but they swell again & fingers are stiff again so don't worry that your still swollen as it will ease eventually.

      Did your nurse friends have anything interesting to say?

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