In the forearm, there are two long bones called the radius and the ulna. The term 'distal' is a latin word that refers to the end closest to the hand, and this area is a common place where fractures can happen, especially when people fall onto their hands.
A distal radius fracture can occur in a number of ways, but the most common cause is a fall onto an outstretched hand where the wrist is bent forcefully forwards or backwards. This can happen during a sports injury, fall off a bike, or even just a slip on a wet surface where you place your hand to break your fall.
If you suspect that you have a distal radius fracture, it is important to seek medical attention from a physiotherapist. During the examination, the physiotherapist will ask you about the injury and perform a physical exam to assess the range of motion, strength, and stability of the affected wrist and hand. An X-ray is typically required to confirm the diagnosis.
The most common symptoms of a distal radius fracture include pain, swelling, and tenderness in the affected wrist and hand. There may also be difficulty moving the wrist and hand, and in some cases, a visible deformity may be present.
An X-ray of the affected wrist will show whether there is a fracture present, as well as the location and severity of the fracture.
The primary goal of treatment for a distal radius fracture is to allow the fractured bone to heal properly. This is typically achieved through immobilization of the affected wrist and hand using a cast.
There are a number of different casting options available for distal radius fractures, depending on the severity of the injury and the specific needs of the patient. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the bones and ensure proper healing.
After the cast is removed, physiotherapy may be required to help restore range of motion, strength, and function to the affected wrist and hand.
In conclusion, a distal radius fracture is a common injury that can be caused by a fall onto an outstretched hand. It can be diagnosed through a physical exam and X-ray, and the primary treatment is immobilization using a cast. If you suspect that you have a distal radius fracture, it is important to seek medical attention from a physiotherapist as soon as possible.