10 Things You Should Know About Colle’s Wrist Fracture
When it comes to fractures in the extremities, wrist fractures are among the most common, if not the outright most common of them all. It is easy to see why wrist fractures are common given how much we use our hands, and by our wrists. You are also likely to use your hands to break your fall which also goes to explain why wrist fractures are very common. Of all the forearm fractures one may suffer, majority of them occur on the end with the radius bone, which is the largest of the two main bones in your forearm. The part of the radius bone that is near the wrist is known as the distal part. When this distal part of your radius bone breaks, that is what is referred to as the Colles wrist fracture, which is named after the person who wrote a paper about it way back in 1814, Abraham Colles. There is a lot we can learn about Colles wrist fractures and this article will look to highlight 10 of those things we should know about them.
- The first thing you need to know about the Colles fracture is on what exactly it is. Here, you will find out that it is, as mentioned above, a break of the radius bone in your forearm. It is also known as a traverse wrist fracture, a dinner-fork deformity of the wrist or a distal radius fracture. It is usually quite painful as when you sustain this fracture, your wrist joint will be pushed back behind your forearm bone.
- Another thing worth noting about this injury is that it occurs mostly in older people, who are likely to have brittle bones, as well as in children, who are likely to have bones which are soft. Not it can’t happen in the age demographics, but it is mostly likely to happen in the aforementioned age demographics due to the nature of their bones, as is covered in detail over at the excellent frontlineer.com.
- Next on the list of 10 things you should know about a Colles wrist fracture is on its different types. There are basically four categories; open fracture where the bone has broken through the skin, intra-articular fractures if the bone broke into your wrist joint, comminuted fracture if the bone broke into more than 2 pieces and extra-articular fractures where the bone break hasn’t affected your wrist joint. The doctor will first establish which of these Colles wrist fractures you have suffered before deciding how to proceed with treatment.
- Next up we are going to take a look at the most common cause as far as the Colles wrist fracture is concerned so as to help you be careful to minimize chances of you suffering this injury. As per the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com who treat lots of these cases in the ER, the most common cause is when you put your hand out to break your fall. This is what most patients say was the cause behind this particular injury.
- Other than the above scenario, there are also certain health conditions that can put you at a higher risk of suffering this fracture. These include if you have an inadequate intake of vitamin D or calcium, if you have osteoporosis which will weaken your bones, as well as if you have poor muscle strength, low muscle mass or you lack agility and have poor balance as this will make you susceptible to falling and hence suffering this fracture.
- Another thing you should know about the Colles wrist fracture is that not every fracture of the distal radius is a Colles fracture. As is explained by the gurus over at frontlineer.com, there are other fractures of the distal radius you can suffer other than the Colles wrist fracture, which is something you need to be aware for when you suspect you have this injury, especially if the injury extends to the cartilage in the wrist joint.
- Another thing you should know is how you should proceed if you happen to suffer this injury as far as home treatment goes. The first thing you should do is immobilize the injured wrist using a splint, elevate it above the level of your heart to prevent it from swelling further as well as using an ice pack to help with the swelling. You can also make use of over-the-counter pain medications to help with the pain. If your wrist is numb or you are experiencing severe pain, then you should head over to the emergency room as soon as you can.
- The next thing you need to know about this injury is on the nonsurgical treatment options available when you seek medical attention, which are for cases that are not severe as per the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com. This usually includes placing your wrist into a splint or a lightweight cast to immobilize it and allow it to heal. If the fracture is displaced, your bone may need to be straightened.
- Another thing you should know is that if you have suffered from a severe fracture, then surgery may be required to straighten and hold together your bones with pins, screws, plates or an external device to hold the pins in place. A splint of cast will still be required after surgery though as well as pain meds for the pain.
- Finally, another thing worth knowing about the Colles wrist fracture is as pertains the recovery time. Here, it is worth noting that this injury may take a while to fully heal, usually a year or even more, though your cast may be removed about six weeks following surgery in kids, or sooner in adults to enable the joint to be mobilized.
The above are some of the things you should know about a Colles wrist fracture, with there being more on this and other related topics over at the excellent frontlineer.com