Distal radius fractures, often called wrist fractures, are common injuries that can impact individuals of all ages. Whether you’ve personally experienced a distal radius fracture or are seeking information for someone you know, understanding the leading causes of these injuries is essential for prevention and effective treatment.
In this article, we’ll explore the five primary causes of broken wrists and discuss specialist treatment options available in Singapore. By gaining insight into these causes, you can be more proactive in preventing such injuries and ensure a smoother path to recovery if they occur.
A two-year study revealed that hand and wrist injuries account for 28.6% of all injuries. One of the leading causes of distal radius fractures is trauma or injury. These fractures often occur due to a sudden and forceful impact on the wrist area. Several common scenarios can lead to traumatic distal radius fractures.
When individuals instinctively extend their hands to break an accidental fall, the wrist can absorb the force, resulting in a fracture.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
High-speed collisions in motor vehicles can exert significant force on the wrist, leading to fractures.
Engaging in sports, especially those with high impact or where falls are frequent, can elevate the risk of distal radius fractures. Activities like skateboarding, snowboarding, or gymnastics may lead to these injuries when individuals lose balance or make awkward landings.
Osteoporosis significantly contributes to distal radius fractures, particularly in older individuals. This condition is characterised by a greatly decreased bone density and quality, making bones more fragile and susceptible to fractures.
While osteoporosis predominantly affects seniors, it can also occur in younger individuals with specific risk factors.
Repetitive stress on the wrist and hand is another common cause of distal radius fractures, particularly stress fractures.
Unlike traumatic fractures caused by a single significant force, stress fractures develop gradually over time due to repeated, relatively minor injuries or stresses on the bone. It is frequently seen in individuals with occupations that involve repetitive hand and wrist motions.
Long hours typing on a computer keyboard or mouse may cause stress fractures due to the continuous strain on the wrist and hand.
Individuals who regularly use hand tools, such as construction workers or mechanics, risk developing stress fractures, primarily if they perform repetitive gripping or twisting motions.
Certain sports, such as tennis, golf, or weightlifting, can put repeated stress on the wrist, leading to stress fractures, particularly in athletes who engage intensely and frequently.
Distal radius fractures can also be caused by underlying pathological conditions that weaken the bone structure, making them more susceptible to fractures. These conditions can affect individuals of various ages and may not always be apparent until a fracture occurs.
Addressing distal radius fractures caused by pathological conditions involves treating the underlying medical condition and managing the fracture itself.
As individuals age, bone density and quality changes can make their bones more vulnerable to fractures, including those in the wrist. A reduction in bone density weakens bones, making them more susceptible to fractures even with minimal trauma.
Reduced muscle mass associated with ageing can also lead to reduced strength and stability in the wrist and hand. It can affect an individual’s ability to prevent or protect their wrist during falls.
In Singapore, when a distal radius fracture occurs, prompt medical attention is essential for proper treatment and to prevent complications. The treatment approach depends on the type and severity of the fracture.
Immobilisation of the wrist with a cast is often used for less severe fractures.
Surgery may be necessary for more complex fractures to realign and stabilise the bones.
Rehabilitation exercises can help restore strength and mobility in the affected wrist after the initial healing phase.
Understanding the possible causes of a fractured wrist and taking preventive steps can significantly reduce the risk of distal radius fractures. If a fracture does occur, seeking prompt medical attention and consulting with a specialist in Singapore will help ensure effective treatment and a smooth recovery process.
Our specialists at Spire Orthopaedic in Singapore are well-equipped to diagnose and treat various broken arm conditions including distal radius fractures, providing personalised care to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contact us for a consultation.