Colles Fracture (Fractured Wrist)

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What is a Colles Fracture (Fractured Wrist)?

A fall onto an outstretched hand can lead to a fracture of the wrist. This is a very common injury an accounts for approximately ¼ of all fractures of limbs. It is common in children and young adults who take part in sporting activities as well as the elderly whose bones are not as strong. In this injury there may be a fracture of either the end of the radius bone or the ulna bone, or both.

Common Causes

Common sports that can cause this injury:

  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Skateboarding
  • Football

Common Signs & Symptoms

Following this injury the common symptoms are:

  • Deformity of the wrist
  • Pain in the wrist

Condition Management

What should be done following this injury:

  • Attend A&E to have an X-ray taken.
  • Elevate the wrist to reduce the pain and swelling in the wrist
  • Use ice or a reusable cold pack to reduce pain and swelling (the recommended time is 10 minutes on with 1 hour off). Never apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Use a sling to protect, elevate and rest the wrist

If there is a fracture a POP (Plaster of Paris) will be applied for approximately 6 weeks which will allow the fracture to heal. For more complex fractures it may be necessary to have an operation to fix the bones back together.

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* Disclaimer *

The content on this website is provided for general information and reference purposes only and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. All exercises and information featured on this web site should only be reviewed/practised under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional. Products suggestions linked to injuries may be provided on the site but you must always refer to the product page for full product details and always consult a physician before use as the indications outlined may not always be relevant to your particular injury/condition.

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