Accidental falls are the leading cause of wrist fracture. As Dr. Alberto Lazzerini, Head of Hand Surgery at Humanitas, a guest in Buono’s studio, explained: “The wrist is a very complex joint, composed of many bones that can fracture. There are many wrist fractures, one of the most frequent is the fracture of the radial bone, others are, for example, the fracture of the bones of the carpus, the scaphoid and the semi-drum.
“Generally, in the presence of a fracture, there is an important pain that is accompanied by functional impotence and a reduction in the mobility of the fingers, with the inability to move the hand. Some fractures, however, can be less painful.
In the presence of swelling, deformity and pain, we are directed towards a fracture, but if mobility is good and the wrist profile is regular, it is more likely that it is a bruise,” said the specialist.
What to do in case of a fracture?
“In case of a fracture you need to go to the emergency room, but it is good to immobilize your wrist, with a simple procedure that you can do at home with what you have available. You can for example take a piece of cardboard, such as the lid of a shoe box from which the corners are to be removed, and stretching out your arm forward place the cardboard under your arm, obviously including wrist and hand. If possible, something may also be placed between the arm and the wadding board, so as to avoid direct contact of the arm with the board. Use a bandage to wrap the whole thing, making sure that the cardboard remains attached to the arm and the wrist is immobilized, in the absence of gauze it is fine to use a kitchen towel. Once the wrist is immobilized, go into First Aid,” explained Dr. Lazzerini.
Radiography and choice of treatment
“A clinical examination by a specialist and an X-ray will be carried out once the patient arrives at First Aid; this examination confirms the presence of a fracture and also shows the type of fracture. In some cases, CT may be useful to better study the fracture.
If the fracture does not guarantee stability and reduction by means of the plaster, surgery is necessary. The simplest fractures can be treated with plaster, while the most complex fractures involving the joint must be treated surgically. Today, the most common procedure is osteosynthesis with a plaque: a plaque is applied with screws, which in most cases do not need to be removed; it is a simple operation, which lasts approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
You cannot return to a completely normal condition, but you can obtain a condition that allows normal use of your hand and wrist. A fracture generally heals in 5 weeks, but with adequate intervention it is possible to resume an elementary function of the hand even much earlier,” concluded Dr. Lazzerini.
Watch the full interview from minute 36.53, click here.