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Broken wrist

(29 Posts)
HootyMcOwlface Fri 02-Feb-18 10:50:18

Have you ever broken your wrist? I've just had my cast took off, and it is so painful as is my thumb! They have given me a sheet of exercises to do, such as bending it over the edge of a chair arm, but my wrist doesn't bend at all at the moment. Was it like this for you and how did you get on?

Scribbles Fri 02-Feb-18 11:43:15

Yes, Hooty, I remember it well! I had so much looked forward to having the cast removed and was appalled at how useless and feeble my wrist and hand felt when it actually happened.

Have you seen a physiotherapist in addition to being given an exercise sheet? I was told it was a month wait to get an appointment so I immediately saw a private physio as I was so concerned about getting full use of my hand back. It was more than worth the cost (£60, about 10 years ago) just to be given some reassuring advice and some supervised exercises to begin with.

I religiously did the exercises for the several weeks until I saw the NHS physio who then introduced me to some more rigorous ones. I thought she was a callous monster and was several times reduced to tears during our sessions - but she knew what she was about! The trick is to stick to the exercise routine. I took two bricks and a can of beans on holiday so I could be sure of having my 'props' at hand!

It will take time but the use will come back. For ages, I was scared on a sort of subconscious level that any undue strain on the wrist would cause it to fracture again. It won't! Honest.
Practise wringing out a wet cloth, typing on a proper keyboard - anything that utilises and flexes the wrist. The activity that took longest to achieve was fastening my own bra.

Mine was a very complex fracture and, a decade on, I have occasional problems straightening my thumb but, other than that, it's fine.
flowers Good luck.

paddyann Fri 02-Feb-18 11:48:58

been about 12 years since I broke my right wrist ,I was given a small ball to use while the cast was still on and after it came off it didn't take long for the wrist to get back to normal.Unfortunately they missed a small fracture in my thumb so it healed badly and I have very limited movement of it ,doesn't affect most things except my cake decorating which is sadly curtailed to simple designs nowadays .Just persevere with the exercises and it will be fine much sooner than you expect

seacliff Fri 02-Feb-18 11:53:18

Yes, badly broken, I had an op to pin it all back together. It was several weeks before the swelling in my hand and fingers went down, I couldn't make my thumb touch my fingers for a few weeks. Could not make a fist.

I took pain killers, and got a small physio ball to practice squeezing. When the plaster came off it felt bad, so I had an elastic bandage on at first to still give some support.

You really need to do exercises every day quite a lot , it will gradually get better. You need to force it a bit at first, the physio made me push it, which I was scared to do. YouTube is helpful - see www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHepbNzZRhQT

Now mine is fine, several years on. Keep doing the exercises and if worried, ask to see a physio again.

moomin Fri 02-Feb-18 12:02:09

Yes Hooty I broke my right wrist before Christmas and badly sprained the left one slipping backwards on black ice in the dark. My cast came off after 4 weeks and the wrist initially was very stiff and painful, as was my main thumb joint, but I do have a certain amount of arthritis in my hands anyway. My consultant ordered physio urgently and I saw someone the following week. In the meantime I’d found exercises on t’internet and started before I saw her. I will have an assessment next week to see how I’m doing. Yes, my wrist is very weak and it’s going to be quite some time before I’ll be able to drive which is very annoying! However, 2.5 weeks on after the cast removal it is much much better, the comment I bear in mind is the one she made about not being downhearted as it WILL get better, just frustrating it takes quite a long time. So, keep doing those exercises, I couldn’t bend my wrist up and down at all - now I can without pain. Good luck

Nonnie Fri 02-Feb-18 12:45:35

Sounds horrid.

Howjado Fri 02-Feb-18 13:14:45

Yes, I broke my wrist on 15th January trying to play Walking Netball. I have not been on a netball court for 50 years! The fracture clinic first gave me a removable splint but when I went back to the clinic yesterday, expecting to be discharged, they said it was broken after all and now I am in a pot.

Baggs Fri 02-Feb-18 13:31:31

Broke mine in the middle of June. It's still less flexible than it was and I get sudden odd twinges sometimes. My grip isn't as strong as it was but I think things are still slowly improving. I've just been doing a small amount of scything. The garden's out of control coas I had to leave so much last year.

Keep doing the exercises. Gently flowers

hildajenniJ Fri 02-Feb-18 13:48:29

I broke mine a few years ago and I also had an operation to pin it all together. Three external fixaters, they looked like Allen keys. I had the plaster on for seven weeks. I went to the physio at our health centre, and she told me that the best exercise was push ups against a wall. You put both hands against the wall with your elbows bent, and push back until your arms are straight. It hurts like hell to begin with, and was very stiff, but it gets better with time. I have full movement in it again.
I tried to get on with normal life and used my wrist as much as possible.

HootyMcOwlface Fri 02-Feb-18 15:41:15

Oh gosh that all sounds horrific! But at least I now know! I'm just so shocked I can't bend the wrist, it was the bones just below the joint I broke not the actual joint itself, so I was not expecting to have no movement in it at all. It is feeling slightly less painful this afternoon than it did yesterday after the cast came off, very swollen though. I was almost crying then, it was nearly as painful as when I fell, I thought I was going to pass out waiting for my xray.

I've been looking on the internet for more exercises as you have suggested. I've not seen the physio yet, but if they are anything like when I saw them for my back, I'll just be given a leaflet. Thanks everyone, and I hope your wrists are feeling better soon too.

moomin Fri 02-Feb-18 15:52:27

Hooty these are the ones I did before I saw the physio and are pretty much the same as she gave me
www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/121210wrist.pdf

lovingit Fri 02-Feb-18 18:10:25

Oh no...
My cast is due to be removed in a fortnight and I was hoping to be back to normal;driving,mucking out,riding,housework....
Living alone this has been the most frustrating time and so depressing being stuck in the house.Friends have been wonderful but they are counting the days too!! Seems as though getting the cast off is not the end ..s**,s***,s**

rubysong Fri 02-Feb-18 21:59:36

My cast came off last Thursday and movement has improved a lot in a week with exercises. Today I had a physio session and have some new exercises to get more strength. Take some painkillers Hooty so that you can exercise it and you will soon find it improves. I am looking forward to being able to drive again.

HootyMcOwlface Fri 02-Feb-18 22:42:06

I forgot to ask at the hospital about driving. I imagined once the cast was off I would be out and about again in a day or two, but that is not happening! I wouldn't feel safe at the moment. How long do I have to wait? Until I feel I can or is there some rules about it?

Baggs Sun 04-Feb-18 17:35:22

I think it's wait until you feel you can. In my case that was three months after I broke it.

HootyMcOwlface Mon 05-Feb-18 10:17:54

Thanks Baggs. That is a long time! Is your car a manual gears one? I have an automatic so am hoping (wishing?) I might be able to be driving again a bit sooner.

Miep1 Mon 05-Feb-18 10:28:49

I broke my wrist =bout 25 years ago and after 6 months it was still agony. Eventually they did another operation, using some bone from my hip...now the wrist isn't straight but no pain any more!

Baggs Mon 05-Feb-18 13:03:21

Yes, it has manual gear changes, hooty, but it was my right wrist that was broken and gripping the steering wheel was what concerned me. Not that you have to grip it hard most of the time but if I had had to while I was changing gear..... 😱

My grip is still under par but I blame that on the traction that was applied two weeks in to my radius repair. My pinkie and ring finger on that hand still haven't fully recovered.

LadyGracie Mon 05-Feb-18 13:12:57

I broke mine 2 years ago and had it manipulated 3 times before they decided I needed an op, I now have plates and screws holding it in place. It did take quite a while for me to be able to bend it, I thought it would never bend again, then all of a sudden I realised I was doing things without discomfort. My thumb was also painful, when I eventually went to physio after the cast was removed I told her about my thumb she gently moved it and pulled it and hey presto my thumb which had obviously been dislocated when my wrist had been manipulated popped back into place. Relief!

Sunlover Mon 05-Feb-18 15:47:48

I've broken both my wrists over the last two years. The first break was in a cast for 6 weeks and I felt very vulnerable and worried when it was removed. I wasn't offered physio so paid for 6 sessions myself. I have full use of this wrist.
The second break was in June 2017 and I really went to town on this one!! Needed plate and pins. However,I wasn't put in a cast and had to start moving it after a couple of weeks. Very scary and painful. I now have good movement in this wrist but still getting a localised pain which they think is caused by the screws being too long. Probably now looking at another operation to remove the metalwork! All very frustrating.

hildajenniJ Mon 05-Feb-18 15:58:06

I went straight back to work so I had to drive myself there. It was my left wrist, so I had to change gear with it. It was difficult to begin with, but I just had to get on with it as I needed to be working. I was surprised at how quickly my wrist loosened up once I started work again.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 08-Feb-18 11:13:57

Thank you everyone for your replies. flowers

grandtanteJE65 Thu 08-Feb-18 13:26:34

Sorry to hear about your wrist. Try finger exercises to start with: as if you were typing or playing the piano, using your fingers, but keeping your wrist still. Twiddling a pencil or pen between your fingers is also a good start.

Then try resting your wrist in the palm or fingers of the other hand and see whether you can raise the affected hand slightly .

If the exercises you have been given, or these ones cause pain, do please consult your GP and perhaps have a new X -ray done before going on with the ecercises, and do try to get a referral to a physiotherapist.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 08-Feb-18 16:27:32

Thank you GrandtanteJE65, i have just had a physio appt come through for the end of next week.
The nobbly bony bit at far side of my wrist feels so painful, I was sure it was rubbing on the inside of the cast but it feels the same with no cast! I'll ask them about it when I go. I'm doing OK with the finger movements, its mainly using my thumb (I can wiggle it OK, its putting any pressure on it that is painful), and bending my wrist. I shall persevere with the exercises, it seems from others' posts it all takes some time to resolve! Thanks again.

Elodie2019 Fri 09-Apr-21 21:34:23

Broke my wrist at end January. It was in a cast for 6 weeks, and now two weeks after having had the cast off, there is still loads of inflammation, stiffness, but more worryingly numbness to the fingers and thumb - almost like carpel tunnel syndrome. Has anyone had this? It is particularly bad at night when I lose sensation in the hand and my middle finger and thumb are extremely painful. After moving it around for a while it clears, but I am having an awful time sleeping now. Would be interested to know if anyone has experienced numbness as I fear my wrist nerves were damaged by the lidocaine nerve block injection they put in my wrist to manipulate it, which was excruciating.