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Wrist (Distal Radius) Fracture Diagnosis

Orthopedic Surgery

How is a wrist fracture diagnosed?

If the injury is not very painful and the wrist is not deformed, it may be possible to wait until the next day to see a doctor. The wrist may be protected with a splint. An ice pack can be applied to the wrist and the wrist can be elevated until a doctor is able to examine it.

If the injury is very painful, if the wrist is deformed or numb, or the fingers are not pink, it is necessary to go to the emergency room.

To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will order x-rays of the wrist. X-rays are the most common and widely available diagnostic imaging technique. X-rays can show if the bone is fractured and whether there is displacement (a gap between fractured bones). They can also show how many pieces of fractured bone there are.