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Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: Wrist Fracture/Nerve Damage


 r29518 - Thu May 28, 2009 5:52 pm

One year ago (May 2008) I experienced repeated trauma to my hands & wrists. I fell on them repeatedly during a fight, each time slamming them hard on the pavement. I fractured my right wrist because of this, but since it didn't show up on the x-rays, I didn't discover it had been fractured until a few months went by and I realized the bone had healed differently than my other hand - the wrist bone on the outer part of my right wrist sticks out slightly. I did have another doctor look at x-rays of my wrist after it had healed and there was no mention of anything looking like it might cause a problem.

In addition to the fracture, I experienced extreme pain and discomfort (particularly in my right wrist) that affected my outer wrist, through my arm, all the way to my elbow. Clearly there was some nerve trauma. For months I barely used both hands because of the pain and soreness. I felt pain both on the top side and under side of my wrists, the part of my palm where my thumbs are extended from, and pain on both sides of my right wrist, especially on the outside that stretched through my arm to my elbow. The ligaments must have been very inflamed. After several months, my hands stiffened because I was not using them - in order to use them again I needed to soak them in warm water for 10 min. twice a day and stretch them.

Now a year has passed and although they have improved greatly, not a day goes by that I don't suffer from pain or soreness. Soaking and stretching them in warm water every morning and night helps a little. I am doing some small weight workouts for my wrists also, in order to try to strengthen them and the muscles that extend into my forearm. Finally my question: What is the best way to address this problem? I don't have health insurance, which means I would like to do all that I can without having to see a doctor or specialist. What are the best exercises/therapy/treatments? As I type this, I feel slight pain in my thumb (where it extends from my palm) and my outer wrist on my left hand. On my right hand I feel un-ignorable pain in my outer right wrist and right elbow, as well as the thumb/palm area. If it is suggested I see someone for this, please indicate the best type of physician in your opinion. Bone? Nerve? Hand? Physical therapist? THANK YOU!!!
 barbara1b - Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:40 pm

I feel so terrible for the pain you are suffering.
While I have had experience with nerve damage, my injury was
very different. A broken humerus caused paralysis for 7 months.
The final recovery was done by an ocupational therapist, specializing
in hands. It only took three weeks to get my fingers moving again and
it was worth going there for sure. One thing I learned from this
injury is that when some parts of the body are not able to perform,
others take over. I had to relearn how to use my muscles again.
I don't know if this is relevant enough for you but I do wish you
the very best. Please research what doctor (hand specialist?)
you should see and spend what you can to improve your position.
Good luck.
Barbara
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:42 pm

User avatar Hello,
If pain and stiffness are the main problems without numbness, tingling or pins/needles sensation ( a sign of nerve damage in the elbow or hand/wrist), I would stear you to a physical or occupational therapist.

There may be pain in the wrist for some time especially as you use the wrist and hands more. However, as long as the alignment on x-ray looks good, then rehab is the way to go.

Likely, the therapist will use paraffin bath, hot packs, range of motion exercises and gradual strengthening, ice.

If you want the economic therapy path, go to therapy for 1-2 visits and ask them to teach you everything you need to do over the next 6-12 months...and go do it.

But first things first, get an x-ray to make sure the bones are healed and in good alignment.

Take care.
 r29518 - Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:11 pm

Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate it very much.
Sincerely,
Ruth

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