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Wrist Fracture Specialist

Luke Nicholson, MD

Hand Surgeon located in Beverly Hills, CA & Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

A total of 10 bones make up your wrist, any of which could break and leave you with a painful wrist fracture. If you're experiencing symptoms consistent with a broken wrist, expert hand surgeon Luke Nicholson, MD, can help. Dr. Nicholson has offices in Beverly Hills and at the Keck Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles, California, where he specializes in using minimally invasive surgical treatments for patients with wrist fractures. Call Luke Nicholson MD for more information or schedule a consultation using the online booking form today.

Wrist Fracture Q & A

What is a wrist fracture?

If you have a wrist fracture, it means you've broken your wrist. The joint contains eight small bones that form the carpal tunnel and two larger forearm bones (the radius and ulna), any of which might break if you fracture your wrist.

The most common type of wrist fracture is a distal radius fracture, which can happen in several ways. These and other types of wrist fractures include:

  • Colles fractures
  • Smith's fractures
  • Scaphoid fractures
  • Barton's fractures
  • Chauffeur's fractures
  • Greenstick fractures (in children)
  • Ulnar styloid fractures

Some wrist fractures are stable, consisting of clean breaks where the bones stay in alignment. Severe, unstable fractures, however, are likely to be more painful and difficult to treat.

Examples include comminuted fractures, where the bone breaks into multiple pieces, and compound or open fractures, where there's a break in your skin.

What symptoms do wrist fractures cause?

Wrist fractures may be painful and make it difficult or impossible to move your wrist, although in some cases, patients can still use their hands. You might also experience:

  • Swelling of the wrist
  • Bruising around the wrist
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Numbness in your fingers
  • Tingling at the tips of your fingers

The joint may feel unstable, as though it's likely to shift out of alignment. If you have a compound wrist fracture, the bone is visible through your skin.

What treatment does a wrist fracture require?

The treatment your wrist fracture requires varies according to the type and extent of your injury. Other factors to consider include your age, any underlying health issues, your normal activities, and whether it's the wrist of your dominant hand.

Dr. Nicholson customizes your wrist fracture management to suit your precise needs.

Nonsurgical treatment might be suitable if the fracture is stable or if Dr. Nicholson can realign the bones manually. More complex wrist fractures might require surgery to hold the broken bones together while they heal. 

What does wrist fracture surgery involve?

To perform wrist fracture surgery, Dr. Nicholson might use pins, screws, rods, or plates to fix the bones. If the bones are badly damaged, he may need to use a bone graft to complete the repair.

Wearing a plaster cast or splint protects your wrist while it heals, and specialist hand therapy helps you regain your strength and range of motion.

Whatever type of wrist fracture you have, call the office of Luke Nicholson MD or book an appointment online today.