Broken wrist, how long does the pain last after removal of the cast?

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 I had a bad colles radius fracture 7 weeks ago requring a 'bier block' manoevre (agony) and have been out of plaster now for 9 days. I am doing excercises which I have found on the internet as there is a 5 week wait for physiotherapy. My main worry is the pain. Can anyone tell me how long I can expect the pain to go on? It feels relentless especially at night when I wake up wiith it burning terribly in my wrist. During the day it is there but not so bad, especially if I am walking. The other worry is that although I feel I am getting more movement with the excersises I am a long way from being able to form a fist. When I attempt a fist my fingers feel tight and sore. My hand is weak and I am unable to cut food yet as it is too painful. I don't find pain killers help much, and they make me feel groggy so I only take them at night and as soon as they wear off I'm awake with agonising pain. I also have bad aching in the end of my thumb. I'd be interested to hear exeperiences of anyone who has come out of this, if you can remember how long it was before the pain and discomfort went and normal life can be resumed! I am a 66 year old woman. It's very frustrating to still not be able to do normal tasks like opening a jar or do some gardening.. 

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  • Posted

    The fist is he hardest to do. Don't overdo the exercises. I couldn't cut my food or spread butter, the inside of my hand under the middle finger gave me hell. Slowly it's got a lot easier. My fingers hurt more in the morning, but it eases after about half an hour when moving. Last night the bone that got pushed back twinged , probably way I was laying. Try a cold pad or packet of peas, then heat of some sort. Sadly I am seeing a dr today to confirm if arthritis, it is in all the family so loose one lot of pain gain another. But I will fight back! I only take a few painkillers, Iburfren. You may need to try another type. Good luck. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks Jenny. How long ago was your break? I think I am being impatient but it's so horribe having pain of some kind all the time. Ihe palm of my hand hurts too. I will try the cold alternating with the warm. I do hope you haven't got arthritis. Thanks for your comment :-)
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  • Posted

    I just want to mention I've got the same break on my right arm and I have discovered DMSO, $6.00 at a tack shop, is doing WONDERS for my pain and increasing the movement exponentially. The doctors I've seen didn't mention that these types of products could offer the help they do! I am amazed.
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  • Posted

    Injured mine 6th August at 8.20ish....stuck in my memory. My palm feels thin, I wonder if some of the pain is because of the cast. I am 62. I never hought I would be able to use it as it was so weak but I can. Takes a bit longer but eventually with gritted teeth I can! Cuss like a trooper some times... saw dr today she asked me if they X rayed my hand, said no, so booked me in. Blood tests which I guessed and a bone scan...My sister and brother have arthritis as did my nan, mum and aunts so want to find out about me now. I am not a patient person either, guess that's what makes it worse...good luck hope you get relief
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    • Posted

      My break was on the 21st of september and I can't imagine ever being able to use a potato peeler again! I bought a squeezy ball but can't squeeze it at all. I am encouraged by your progress. They didn't x-ray my hand either and I'm worried this pain in my  thumb might be a small break. At our age these things take longer to mend I suppose. i have bought some medicinal epsom salts and find a good soaking in that helps.... and arnica cream. Good luck with your x-ray and scan :-)
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    • Posted

      Hi...sorry to bother you again, but is your wrist still hurting during the night? If not, can you remember when that stopped? I'm finding the burning pain on the injury site in the night unbearable - hence why I'm up at 5 am!
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  • Posted

    Weirdly enough the wrist pain isn't too bad, it's the bone in the arm that now wakes me up. I did get warned but thought oh o.k, won't be as bad as the wrist...wrong. I used a bath sponge filled with arm water, then I could see how hard I was squeezing. I have not attempted the squeeze ball as fingers tender. I lay my hand in warm water then gently swish then lay hand flat on table and start to make a fist. I find this better as you can start the gripping slowly. at a better pace. Peeling spuds will sadly come back, as will housework..😉 Let your body tell you how fast to go. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks, it's good to know my pain is something to be expected. I had this notion that my problems would be over once the plaster came off. We're too old to be breaking bones! I hope your recovery continues well.
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  • Posted

    Hi chloe, I fractured my left wrist, 4 fractures-collies-both radius and ulna, closed reduction at the end of April.  I was in a cast for 4.2 weeks and had it removed at home due to abnormal swelling.  The pain was unbearable, swelling looked like a fat frog attached to swollen sticks for fingers.  Doctors didn't care due to lack of insurance.

    Six months later, I am just now able to touch all my fingers with my thumb.  I couldn't bear to touch my hand's skin due to nerve ultra sensitivity, thumb was either numb or frozen at times, my wrist was frozen in place until the beginning of September when the ligaments and cartilage had reattached to the ulna styloid where most of the pain and damage occurred and I began gently stretching and turning my hand with my right hand,  pushing past the pain daily.  I stretched and wiggled my fingers daily as I could and squeezed a sponge since the cast came off until strength came back lately. 

    I have approximately 60% range of motion now and I am working full time though dealing with frozen wrist and fingers at times.  I have only been able to move my wrist up, down and side-ways for the last few weeks due to daily rotation and movement at all times.  But, I am able to do this because I soaked my hand in hot water, used a red infrared lightbulb (baby chick bulb) to warm my hand twice daily for 20-30 minutes, Icy Hot Ultra and Aspercreme together as needed. Arnica cream now works. 

    The swelling and nerve pain subsided toward the end of August as I began taking Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Curcumin, Tart Cherry, Magnesium, C, B multiple, and zinc.  I found that diet pop with aspartame, salty foods, and wine caused my hand to swell more, even now.  I did, PT everyday, especially now, that I found online.  Finger stretches and movement, followed by squeezing a fat sponge, followed by stretching my hand back and fortha as I could stand it, using my right hand to move my hand and fingers.  I couldn't move my fingers for three months without help.

    When the swelling came down, I was able to progress the PT to moving my hand by stretching my hand front and back and moving it up and down, pushing just past the, refuse to stretch further, point as well as rotating my hand at all times. 

    Those supplements, the pain creams, and the red infra-red light bulb brought the swelling down, including the pain, both in the bone fractures and the nerve sensitivity and pain.  I also experienced burning in my thumb and pinky until mid-August.  I've had to do the PT daily and often or I was losing the use of my left hand, except to wiggle my fingers.  Also, I am now taking bovine colostrum and blackstrap molasses to help with bone loss.  A cotton jersey glove with the fingertips cut off helps keep my hand warm at night and at work as needed. 

    I hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Wow! I feel extremely lucky after reading of your experience. I am perservering with the excercises I have found online, and have bought a support elastic tube to wear at night. This helps a bit, but I stil wake at 4am in pain, when I take it off and take a pain killer. I am taking calcium, magnesium and vit D supplements as well as homoeopathic arnica, ruta and rhus-tox. I will look into Aspercreme. The skin on my palm is sensitive and my thumb very sore and swollen. I still can't make a fist. Good luck with your healing - you must be a very patient person.
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    • Posted

      this sounds a lot like what is going on with me. great advice! i also have lyme disease which complicates the healing. staying on diet and taking the anti lyme herbs really helps. noticed big improvement too when i recently got back on mms--a lot less swelling

       

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    • Posted

      Hi keep going and Physio I see so important. Broke my wrist in 3 places 5/6 months ago and now fully back to practicing my violin 🎻 and knitting! Hope that gives encouragement X

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