Do I Need Surgery for a Fractured Wrist?

Do I Need Surgery for a Fractured Wrist?

Posted on 11/30/2020

According to the American Orthopedic Association, distal radius fractures are common. Studies show the radius is a bone that usually breaks easily in your arm. When there is a break in the distal radius, the area near the wrist has a fracture. Once you experience a terrible injury to your wrist, your reaction is to get immediate medical attention. If you want to find out if your fractured wrist needs surgery, here’s what you should know.

Open Fracture

Also known as a compound fracture, an open fracture occurs when the bone injury breaks the skin, resulting in an open wound. For this type of injury, it’s common for a bone fragment to break the skin from the inside. An open fracture needs immediate medical attention. Your surgeon will assess the severity of your injury based on the following factors:

  • Location. Your surgeon needs to know if that area in your wrist has an ample supply of blood.

  • Fragments. The number and size of fragments from your wrist fracture must also be evaluated.

  • Gravity of damage. This type of injury tends to damage the surrounding soft tissues.

If you have an open fracture, you are vulnerable to infection and contamination. Because of this, you should have an emergency wrist fracture surgery. By then, your surgeon will clean out the bone and its surrounding soft tissues. The procedure also aims to stabilize your affected bone to initiate proper healing.

Intraarticular Fracture

This type of wrist fracture crosses the surface of your joint. It also damages some of the cartilage in the area. Experts say that joint fractures need more treatment and time to heal because of the number of bone pieces present in the injured joint. Inside the fractured joint are pieces of bones that usually delay healing. It is also common to find torn ligaments that hinder your recovery even more.

Extraarticular Fracture

If you have this type of wrist fracture, your radius has a single disruption in your diaphysis. The fracture tends to be transverse, oblique, or spiral. CT scans, traction radiographs, or oblique radiographs usually confirm if there are intraarticular fractures. Even so, surgeons usually discover an extension of the fracture into the wrist joint only during surgery. To fix the fracture, your surgeon will use the lag screw method.

Comminuted Fracture

Comminuted fractures involve several fractures in one bone. Diagnosing this type of fracture in your wrist needs radiological confirmation. Once your surgeon establishes that you have this fracture, your surgery will push through.

Your qualification as a wrist fracture surgery patient depends on the extent of your injury. You will have the procedure once your surgeon confirms the type of wrist fracture you have. After the surgery, your treatment will involve splints and therapy. At East Bay Hand & Upper Extremity, we provide the right interventions to every type of bone and joint injury. Please visit our clinic in Oakland, California, for an in-person consultation. You can also call us at 510-904-1100 for appointment scheduling or inquiries about our wrist fracture treatment packages.


Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more information about our hand and upper extremity surgical services.