Distal Radius Fracture (broken wrist)
On this page
- What has happened?
- What should I expect?
- What should I do?
- What should I not do?
- Will I be followed up?
- What if I have concerns/questions?
What has happened?
- You have broken a bone in your wrist
- This is a very common break, and nearly all heal without requiring an operation
What should I expect?
- You will have been placed in a cast by Emergency Department (ED staff) - this is to help keep the bone in the correct place during healing
- You will likely have a cast for approximately 6-8 weeks
- Your wrist will be swollen and sore, and you may develop bruising and swelling in the fingers - this is normal
What should I do?
- Take simple pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen) as needed
- Keep your fingers moving
- It may help with swelling and discomfort to elevate your wrist by resting it 1-2 pillows while sitting
What should I not do?
- Try to reduce or stop smoking as this may delay bone healing
- Do not use your injured arm for heavy lifting
- You may be unable to drive while in your cast
Will I be followed up?
- Yes, a follow-up appointment in the Orthopaedic Clinic will be requested when you leave the Emergency Department (ED) and you will be contacted abouta date and time
- You will need multiple x-rays to monitor the healing
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If your injury is not settling or you are worried about how it is healing, please see your GP first - take your ACC form/number with you
- Please seek medical attention if you have the following
- Increasing pain in your hand
- Inability to move your fingers
- Numbness or tingling in your hand
- Your fingers go cold, or turn blue/white, compared with the other hand