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Can You Have a Fracture & Still Move Your Wrist?

Updated March 23, 2017

A wrist fracture occurs when one of the eight bones in the wrist cracks. It is possible to have a wrist fracture and not realise it because you may be able to move your wrist.

Symptoms

You may notice sudden pain, bruising, visible deformities and swelling. Sometimes a wrist fracture may cause limited motion in the wrist, hands, thumb or fingers.

Causes

Most wrist fractures are caused by falling onto an outstretched hand, but violence, sports injuries and other accidents may also cause them. Regardless of the cause and ability to move the wrist, if it is fractured you should immobilise it using a splint to avoid further injury.

Risk Factors

Osteoporosis, poor nutrition, participation in sports, advanced age, being post-menopausal, and decreased muscle mass increase your risk of a wrist fracture. A fracture in a weakened bone may result in your hand hanging limp without movement possible.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis usually involves a physical exam, demonstrating the ability to move the wrist if possible, a set of X-rays and a discussion on how the injury occurred. In a limited number of cases, your doctor may order CAT scans or MRIs.

Treatments

Generally, a cast or splint is used to keep the area immobile and allow the wrist to heal. A severe wrist fracture may require surgery to repair the bone.

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About the Author

Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.