Broken wrists are usually treated in either a cast or a brace. Upon occasion, broken wrists are treated with surgery. Either way, the following are some tips to help you to a speedy recovery.
- Keep your hand elevated. That means that your wrist should be above the level of your elbow and your heart. This reduces swelling and pain. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to hasten your recovery.
- Pain management
- Besides elevation which will help reduce pain, Vitamin C (100 mg a day) has been shown in some studies to reduce pain syndromes associated with wrist fractures.
- Early on, Tylenol is preferable to Advil, Motrin and Aleve for pain management. After the first 2 weeks, Advil, Motrin, Aleve are fair game.
- Innocent bystanders
- Your fingers and elbow are innocent bystanders. Finger and elbow motion is critical to prevent stiffness in these joints. The last thing one wants is a healed wrist fracture with a stiff elbow and fingers.
- Stop smoking
- If you smoke, stop. Smoking may delay bone healing and in some cases, may cause a bone not to heal.
- Calcium and vitamin D. Having enough is important. Having super amounts does not lead to faster healing. Check with your doctor if it is OK for you to take calcium.
Recommended Calcium and Vitamin D Intake
The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine has issued daily calcium and vitamin D intake guidelines for various groups of persons.
Life Stage Group – Recommended Daily Calcium Intake
Women and men 9 to 18 years – 1,300 mg
Women and men 19 to 50 years – 1,000 mg
Women and men 51 to 70 years – 1,200 mg
Women and men > 70 years – 1,200 mg
Pregnant or nursing women 14 to 18 years – 1,300 mg
Pregnant or nursing women 19 to 50 years – 1,000 mg
Life Stage Group – Recommended Daily Vitamin D Intake
Men and women 9 to 50 years with limited sun exposure – 1,300 IU
Men and women 51 to 70 years with limited sun exposure – 1,000 IU
Men and women > 70 with limited sun exposure – 1,300 IU
- Keep your chin up.
At times, it will be frustrating and difficult to perform simple tasks. Think of it as a growing period for your noninjured wrist. Remember, in most cases broken wrists heal in 6 weeks.