During sports or a fall, your wrist might break or fracture. When your wrist is injured or used to defend you from a fall, it might break. Fractures can range in size from a minor hairline crack to a broken bone or bones into two or more pieces. Your treatment will be determined on the severity of the break.
A broken wrist can be a difficult injury to deal with. Not only is it painful, but it can also make everyday tasks very difficult.
Your wrist might be in a cast or splint, depending on your doctor’s recommendation. This will keep your wrist in a more stable position until your next checkup. The healing of your wrist may take weeks or months. With home care, you can aid its recovery. In this article, we will outline the steps you need to take to care of your broken wrist at home.
- Immobilize your arm
You should start by placing a sling around your arm or wrist. The goal is to keep the wrist completely immobile so it has an opportunity to heal properly. If you place too much stress on the injured area, the bones may not set correctly and you could end up with long-term problems as a result.
- Reduce pain and swelling
There are several ways that you can reduce pain and swelling after breaking your wrist. One way is through applying ice to the injured area. You should aim to apply ice to your wrist for 15-20 minutes every hour or two. Ice can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication
If you are in a lot of pain, there are ways that you can manage it without taking prescription drugs. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen may be helpful, but you should use these with caution. It is important to only take the number of pills prescribed because overdosing on NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may cause additional problems.
- Elevate the broken wrist above the heart
Elevating your broken arm above your heart can also help keep swelling down and this provides some relief from discomfort too. You should try to prop your arm up while you sleep and while doing daily tasks.
- Eat a healthy diet
Your body will heal faster if you provide it with the nutrients it needs. A good way to get what you need is through eating healthy meals. Ideally, you should eat plenty of vegetables and fruits along with lean proteins such as chicken or fish. Avoid foods high in sodium, sugar and fat because they can slow the healing process down.
It is important that you rest during your recovery time so that your arm has an opportunity to recover properly. Make sure that you follow the doctor’s orders exactly when it comes to how long your arm should be kept immobile after breaking your wrist. If necessary, ask for help from friends and loved ones so you can rest up.
When should you call for assistance?
If you are experiencing any of the following, call your doctor or nurse hotline right away, or seek immediate medical attention.
- You’re having trouble with your cast or splint.
- It feels like your cast or splint is too tight.
- Your pain has gotten worse or you’re experiencing symptoms for the first time.
- You do not experience any improvement as anticipated.
- You’ve experienced tingling, weakness, or numbness in your hand or fingertips.
- Your hand or fingers are chilly, white, or changing colour.
We hope that this blog post has helped answer some questions about how to care for a broken wrist while at home. When you take good care of yourself, you heal best. Following up with your doctor is an important component of your treatment and safety. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact The Orthopaedic & Pain Practice. Their team of experts is there to help you through your healing process. Remember to take care of yourself and follow up with your doctor regularly to ensure a speedy recovery.