Something like a painful wrist fracture can happen in a second and require much more time to recover from. Whether you broke your wrist from falling, playing a sport, or in an accident, prompt, appropriate treatment for your injury is crucial to regaining and maintaining strength and range of motion. While there are numerous treatment options for wrist fractures, some injuries may require surgical repair due to their location or severity.
If you have never had surgery, you may be wondering what to expect. OSSM is dedicated to helping our patients like you understand their surgery treatment plan as well as every step of recovery. We have provided some important information about what to expect during and after your surgery.
Many fractures require immediate treatment. A two week window after any injury is the time to perform surgery, before any early stages of bone healing begins. During this time period you and your doctor will need to decide whether to go ahead with your wrist fracture surgery or not.
If you decide to proceed, your doctor will advise you about which type of wrist fracture surgery would be best for your particular health needs. Fracture surgery, medically referred to as “fixation” because it “fixes” your bones into their correct places for proper healing, comes in a few types.
A small incision is made, a stabilizing plate and pins or screws are fixed to the bone, and the incision is closed. Assuming there are no complications, this hardware does not need to be removed, however, you and your doctor can opt for a second surgery to take it back out after the bone has completely healed.
Percutaneous, “meaning through the skin,” is a type of fixation used when your wrist requires only one or two pins to become properly positioned and stabilized for healing. Percutaneous fixation involves the placement of pins under general anesthetic in the operating room. The wrist is then placed in a cast. Once healing is complete, the pins are removed. This method is especially successful when the fracture is to one of the small bones in the wrist.
This type of surgery involves the placement of an external frame to hold percutaneously set pins in place to help with healing and stability.
Once your pain is managed, you will be referred to our physical therapy staff at Orthopedic Physical Therapy Institute to begin your treatments. Read more about what to expect on your road to recovery.