Hand, Wrist and Elbow Fractures

Most people will experience a fracture (broken bone) in their lifetime. There are many different types of fractures that range in severity, depending on the force of the injury or the location of the bone that has been injured. Fractures in the hand, wrist and elbow can be very painful and cause ongoing issues if not treated. Fractures usually occur after a direct trauma, whether it be a fall or sporting injury, and commonly present with the following symptoms:

  • Pain: usually sharp pain with movement and touch
  • Swelling: can be localised to one area or affect the whole hand
  • Bruising
  • Restricted movement

Fractures can be treated conservatively or surgically depending on numerous factors.

Conservative Management
Conservative treatment for a broken bone involves immobilisation of the bone and the surrounding area to rest the injured body part and allow the body to begin to heal the bone. Immobilisation can be achieved by a plaster, fibreglass cast or a thermoplastic orthosis. At Handworks we can provide the following services to conservatively manage a fracture of the hand, wrist or elbow:

  • Fabricate a custom made thermoplastic orthosis (waterproof) for protection and support
  • Form rehabilitation programs to regain movement and strength after immobilisation

The orthosis will optimally position the injured body part to provide protection and stability to the broken bone while it is healing. Most adults will require six weeks of immobilisation, however many factors can affect bone healing including; age, type of bone, type of fracture, lifestyle and general health.

Post-Operative Management
Surgical treatment still requires a period of immobilisation, however as the fragments of bone are usually held together with plates and screws or wires, early movement is generally allowed depending on advice from your surgeon. Hand Works are able to provide the following services post operatively:

  • Fabricate a custom made thermoplastic orthosis for protection and support
  • Wound care and removal of stitches
  • Exercise programs to maintain or regain movement and strength
  • Scar management
  • Desensitisation
  • Recommendations and advise on returning to work and daily activities