Munson Health
Wrist Fracture

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by Calvagna M

(Fracture, Wrist; Broken Wrist; Scaphoid Fracture; Navicular Fracture)



A wrist fracture is caused by trauma to the bones in the wrist. Trauma may be caused by:
  • Falling on an outstretched arm
  • Direct blow to the wrist
  • Severe twist of the wrist

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance of developing a wrist fracture include:


Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury. It may involve:
Devices that may be used to hold the bone in place while it heals include:
  • A cast —may be used with or without surgery
  • A metal plate with screws, which requires surgery
  • Screws alone, which requires surgery
  • Metal pins that cross the bone with a metal splint on the outside of the wrist that holds the pins and the fractured bone in place—requires surgery
Your doctor may give you pain medicine depending on your level of pain. Your doctor will order more x-rays while the bone heals. The x-rays will help to make sure that the bones have not shifted.


When your doctor decides you are ready, start range-of-motion and strength exercises. A physical therapist may help you with these exercises. Do not return to sports until your wrist is fully healed.

Healing Time

A fracture of a carpal bone may take 10-16 weeks to heal. For the best recovery, follow your doctor's directions .


To help reduce your chance of getting a wrist fracture, take the following steps:


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine



Canadian Orthopaedic Association

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation



Distal radius fracture. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: . Updated August 2007. Accessed March 12, 2013.

Distal radius fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated December 17, 2012. Accessed March 12, 2013.


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