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Sports Medicine

Force after broken wrist

06/02/2009

Question:

Hello, its about 4 weeks and few days now that I broke my wrist, called radius I think, I kind of felt on my wrist with my whole body and overstretched it so the ligaments and muscle where overstretched i think. there was no surgery needed. My sport is motocross, so the riding is getting better and better after the fracture but i havent got much force in my hand/wrist. I stretch every day, I can olsow do push ups on my fists, not yet on my flat hands, just havent got the power and confidence yet to do it. now my question is, will the force come back within few weeks or will it stay like that, i can feel that its getting better every week but i wanna be sure if the force will come back that i used to have. i olsow did some acupuncture treatments. hope someone can answer my question about the power in my wrist/hand

thanks a lot.

Answer:

Bone healing following a fracture takes at least several weeks, and sometimes longer (depending on the type/severity/location of the fracture, the bone involved, the treatment received, and a person's overall health). In addition to healing, ideally a bone will heal "anatomically", meaning without residual deformity. Hopefully you'll have no deformity of your radius/wrist following your fracture, although deformity can develop if appropriate precautions are not taken during the healing period following the injury.

You are advised to consult with your physician/orthopedist so you can receive advice specific to your needs, including what you should - and should not - be doing, and the time frames for any restrictions. 4 weeks after a radius fracture is probably too early for you to be trying to perform pushups in any fashion.
 
You can expect full return of strength/power in your wrist and hand - as long as bone healing has occurred without deformity, and as long as no injuries other than the radius fracture were sustained. Strengthening exercises may well be necessary to maximize your ultimate level of function, but these should be performed only under the guidance of your physician.

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Response by:

Brian L Bowyer, MD Brian L Bowyer, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University