Fractured distal radius, how long before normal?

Posted , 5 users are following.

Jan, 2018 i fell and fractured left radius near wrist.  No surgery or pins; cast was on for 7 weeks.  Pain, stiffness, lack of strength followed. PT only gave minimal relief and gave up on it.  In fact, therapist had me back off exercises squeezing some play dough type stuff because of tingling. (I was probably doing it too aggressively)

That was in May so I just went on doing normal stuff.  Hand and and wrist still have occasional tingle and minor pain after waking up plus my ring finger joint "clicks" for a while after waking.

I still can't make a tight fist. Pain is down to discomfort and strength is only about 50% and very slowly improving.  At least it's not my right (primary) hand.

I do physical stuff all the time, including household, car and other repairs.  The most inconvenient thing is using my hand to get up from the ground, especially if I am down low such as after laying down to reach under lawn tractor to take off blades for sharpening. 

At 73 yrs old, I didn't expect to bounce back like a kid, but wondering if this is normal?s  Anyone else my age have similar issues?


0 likes, 6 replies

6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jim,

    I am afraid I can't advise on what is normal for a wrist as I broke my ankle in late April and am still recovering but have heard from others on this forum who have had wrist fractures and they like ankle fractures seem to take a while to heal! Although also everyone is different!

    I wish you well and hope you find some improvement soon.

  • Posted

    Hi Jim28062

    I suspect that it may be partly to do with age. I had a similar fracture 3 years ago (distal radius but just a simple fracture without any need for surgery or pins). I was then 52. I was pleasantly surprised by the recovery. i had very little pain right from the beginning and i could move my fingers and clench my fist without any problem. after the plaster came off (6 weeks later) I had to be careful about lifting bags for another 6 weeks but discomfort was minor. I hope things get better for you.

  • Posted

    Hi Jim I fell and broke my wrist 5 weeks ago. My cast was taken off a week ago and I an wearing a brace. The dr said it was healing nicely. I am trying to do a few exercises like making a fist and it hurts. Feels like shooting nerve pain in my palm and I can't make a fist. I have pain and stiffness and lack of strength but maybe because its only been 5 weeks. I broke my distal radius and ulna. I didn't have surgery. I have to go back to dr in 2 weeks. I am 72. How long did your pain last?

    • Posted

      How long "DID" it last as in past tense?  To some degree , i can't use a past tense verb regarding issues even now which is six months from my fall.  Pain is down to discomfort, but it's still there. Inability to clench, stiffness of knuckles, weirdness and less strength persist.  I just live with it.


  • Posted

    Oh no sorry to hear that. I think my pain is because I also was doing it to aggressively. I called the Dr today and she said to stop exercising and let my hand rest over he weekend and if still pains call her back Monday. I never realized a broken bone could hurt so much.
  • Posted

    Hi Jim,

    I had the exact same fracture (Colles) as you but needed plate, pins and screws surgery. Had cast on for 5 weeks and was despondent when it was removed and could do absolutely nothing with hand, not even touch forefinger with thumb.

    Physio helped a little bit but not much and felt I got more info and help on Youtube.

    It is now 6 months from accident and feel not progressing as fingers though not exactly numb, feel peculiar like half numb and tingling if that makes sense?

    Unfortunately, it's my dominant hand (right) and still can't make a fist or bend wrist backwards. Also very weak and can hardly hold a mug of tea.

    I've done all the exercises every day, steeped hand/wrist in Epsom salts, applied ice compresses but the recovery is just too slow.

    Been advised it can take a year but I worry should I seek medical attention now, in case something serious is the cause or be a bit more patient and give it more time.

    Today I ordered a Neo G wrist rehabilitation gadget which had great reviews, as will try anything.

    I know exactly how you feel and had no idea a broken wrist could be this serious so I do empathise with you.

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