Your physician will take radiographs of the wrist to evaluate thefracture better. Breaks typically occur one inch from the end of the bone. If the fracture goes through the joint, it is called an “intra-articular” fracture. If fracture does not go through the joint it is called an “extra-articular” fracture. If the fracture goes through the skin, it is called an “open fracture.” If the break is not very painful, treatment can wait until the next day. Ice, elevation, and a splint may be used to help with the discomfort. If the fracture is very painful, if there is associated numbness or tingling of the hand or fingers, if the fingers are not pink and your child cannot move his/her fingers, immediate treatment is needed.
Most distal radius fractures can be treated non-surgically with some type of immobilization such as a cast. If the fracture is angulated, it may be need to be realigned to the proper position or “anatomical alignment”. This is called a “closed reduction”. Your child is typically immobilized in cast for 4–7 weeks depending on the severity of the break. Your child will need periodic follow up visits with your physician to evaluate how the cast is fitting and the alignment of the bones, which is evaluated by X-Rays.
Most wrist fractures do not need surgical intervention. In the cases where the fracture is not able to be “reduced” or placed back into the proper alignment and it will affect the motion of the arm, surgery may be needed. In most cases, “closed reductions” are preformed with sedation or pain medicine. In some cases, the fracture will need an “open reduction” as well as hardware such as pins, plates, or screws used to help realign the bone.