Broken Wrist and Physiotherapy Singapore
Broken wrists are common during a fall where a person would often stretch out their hands to break their falls, which they do, but at the cost of their wrists. The symptoms include significant amount of pain in the wrist; sometimes there is a resemblance of ‘dinner fork’ deformity; wrist swelling and difficulty and inability to use the hand and the wrist that is affected.
If you suspect that you have a broken wrist, or someone close to you has it, take the patient to the accident and emergency unit of your local hospital immediately. If there is no broken skin, you can use ice packs to provide pain relief and to decrease the swelling.
Physiotherapy and hand therapy interventions will start immediately regardless of which route of treatment you or the medical practitioner decide on – plaster casting, splinting or even surgical intervention.
We will focus on maintaining the range of motion of the unaffected joints of the affected hand such as the fingers, elbow and shoulder, to prevent any risks of stiffness or rigidity as a result of non-mobility or decreased mobility because of a guarded posture. Also, this helps to decrease the swelling and inflammation by the muscle pumping action.
If the doctor had decided on a plaster cast approach, and assuming the bone heals without complications, the plaster cast can usually be removed after about 6-8 weeks. When the cast is removed, more active physiotherapy and hand therapy interventions can be started on.
If the doctor decided for splinting or surgery using plates and screws, active hand therapy interventions will be given immediately and intermittently; but with fracture precaution. That will mean that we will do active or active-assisted range of motion activities to maintain joint integrity, range of motion, prevent muscle wastage and tightness. When the orthopedic surgeon confirms that the broken bones integrity has improved, we will start more active physiotherapy intervention, such as passive and resistive exercises.
Whenever necessary, we will also perform mobilization and manipulation of soft tissue and joints to decrease the amount of stiffness and to provide pain relief.
To support your wrist, we may prescribe exercise therapy using theraputty, hand therapy equipment as well as finger and grip strengthening exercisers to strengthen the muscles of the fingers and wrist, as this will become a natural gauntlet to protect the broken wrist.