View Full Version : Broken Wrist/Arm

02-04-2009, 02:28 AM
Anyone have info on broken wrists or arms? Like in detail (but please don't go into the horribly gruesome details. TMI) . Which would take longer to heal: a broken wrist or a broken arm?

My MC just fell off a horse and broke something in her arm.

Well...anyone know what an ER looks like on the inside?

02-04-2009, 03:44 AM
How big is the town/city? Need that before describing the ER. (Verr diff in NYC v. Turkey Fall, ND)

Wrist is a generic term for a body area. Usu when someone says they have a fx wrist, they means a fx radius or ulna. It's a ver common inj from falling off a horse, although at least as common w/ cracking the radius as you impact the ground w/ arm out is *also* breaking the clavicle/dislocating the shoulder.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-04-2009, 05:53 AM
The bones take about the same length of time to heal ... if the MC falls and lands on her outstretched hand, the hand will hyper-extend and she'll have the classic radius and ulna fracture just above the wrist. Fingers may wiggle, she'll have feeling (if not, she's in deep doo-doo), but the forearm will definitely not be the same shape as the other one. Pain level can vary.

Common snowboarder fracture, I see a dozen or so a weekend when I'm playing ski patroller.

First aid is to immobilize the wrist in "position of comfort" and a temporary splint, with the splint extending from at least the base of the fingers to almost the elbow ... maybe higher if flexing the elbow joint causes pain. You can make a decent one of folded cardboard and duct tape with something soft for padding ... x-rays go right through.

ER treatment is to reduce the fracture (if necessary), splint the forearm for a few days until the swelling goes down and then surgically repair the bones with rods and plates and screws if necessary. Cast time is usually 6-8 weeks.

ERs? They look like they do on TV, but with fewer cute doctors :)

02-04-2009, 05:56 AM
Thanks, I decided not to describe the ER. Now... anything about the healing process and/or the follow-up exam?

Silver King
02-04-2009, 05:56 AM
My youngest boy recently broke his left arm (the radius bone). The ER at the hospital looked much like a lounge, with couches, stuffed chairs, a television, coffee maker and snack machines.

Healing has a lot to do with severity of the injury (some require surgery to repair) and age of the patient (younger victims heal much faster than older people).

In my son's case, the fracture isn't too bad. The bone is still connected and appears on the x-ray like a thin tree branch that's been splintered almost in half.

A couple of other things that might be helpful:

The hospital staff did not place a cast on the arm. They provided a splint to immobilize the limb until we could seek treatment from an orthopedic specialist.

With the splint in place, we had up to ten days to seek additional treatment.

Casts are made of fiberglass and come in a range of colors, including pink and blue and purple and black.

In many cases, both the radius and ulna bones break at the same time.

When the injury heals, it becomes stronger at the point of fracture than the surrounding bone.

My boy's cast will be removed this Thursday, less than one month from when he was hurt.