Dr. Jonathan Lee Yi-Liang - One of Singapore's leading established hand surgeons specializing in hang and reconstructive microsurgery

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Our goals are to alleviate pain and discomfort at every stage of your treatment, while aiming for the most rapid recovery of function, getting you back to your daily activities, sports and occupation as quickly as possible.

Wrist Fractures (Distal radius fractures)

What is Wrist Fracture? | Signs and Symptoms | Treatment and Rehabilitation

What is Wrist Fracture?

The wrist is made up of eight small bones and the two forearm bones, the radius and ulna (see Figure 1). The unique shape of the bones gives the wrist a freedom of motion; allowing it to bend and straighten, move side-to-side, and rotate palm-up and palm-down.

A fracture may occur in any of these bones when enough force is applied, such as when falling down onto an outstretched hand. Severe injuries may occur from a more forceful injury, such as a car accident or a fall off a roof or ladder. Osteoporosis, a common condition in which the bone becomes more brittle, may make one more susceptible to getting a wrist fracture.

Wrist Fracture Singapore Hand Surgeon Dr. Jonathan Lee
Figure 1

The most commonly broken bone of the wrist is the radius (see Figure 1). When the wrist is broken, there is pain, swelling, and decreased use of the hand and wrist. The wrist often appears crooked and deformed (Figure 2).

Fractures of the small wrist bones, such as the scaphoid, are unlikely to appear deformed (see Figure 1). Fractures may be simple with the bone pieces aligned and stable. Other fractures are unstable and the bone fragments tend to displace or shift, in which case the wrist is more likely to appear crooked. Some fractures break the normally smooth, cartilage-lined joint surface; others will be near the joint but leave the joint surface intact. Sometimes the bone is shattered into many pieces, which usually makes it unstable. An open (compound) fracture occurs when a bone fragment breaks through the skin, and this increases the risk of infection.

Wrist Fracture Singapore Hand Surgeon Dr. Jonathan Lee
Figure 2