Physiotherapy for Wrist Fractures

Our Chartered Physiotherapist Rebecca Wyatt discusses how Physiotherapy can be beneficial…

All broken bones are bad and can significantly affect your day to day life, but with regards to your hands even the simplest of tasks may be prevented whilst the fracture is healing. Wrist fractures are the most common injury to occur in older adults in the upper limbs with women being at a higher risk than men after the age of 35 years due to the hormonal changes of menopause. Physiotherapy may not be advised or suggested to you if you do sustain a fracture to your wrist, nevertheless it can certainly benefit everyone.

Let’s first look at the anatomy of the wrist joint in an adult.  The wrist is the connection of the hand to the forearm and is comprised of multiple joints and bone articulations. The correct term for the wrist is the carpus. There are 8 smaller carpal bones, the ends of the radius and ulna and the ends of 5 metacarpal bones (finger bones.)

There is a dense network of ligaments, muscle and tendons which connect to and cross over the wrist joints providing stability, strength and allowing for all of the intricate movements possible in the wrist, hand and fingers.

There are different types of fracture which can occur at the wrist joint and the injury mechanism and type of fracture sustained will depict how the fracture is treated.  It is important to remember that when a bone is broken, the soft tissues around it will be directly affected.

Examples of wrist fractures are:

  • Colle’s
  • Smith
  • Barton
  • Radial Styloid
  • Stress
  • Open or Closed.

Potential treatment for these can range from wearing a plaster cast or a splint, to surgery with plates or wires (these are brief examples there are many more!) With regards to Physiotherapy, we can help restore your normal range of movement, improve the strength of the wrist and hand and help you back to normal function. If you have been in a plaster cast your wrist may still be painful and quite stiff even though it’s healed. A Physio has the knowledge and expertise to mobilise the joint and rehabilitate it.

A lot of people may not be referred to Physiotherapy following a wrist fracture as it may have been a “straight forward break” with 6 weeks in a cast or may have been conservatively managed.  This does not mean you can’t have Physiotherapy.  If you have recently broken your wrist or hand and feel you would like to do more to help it, give our team at Lilliput Health a call today on 01202 725090.

Alternatively, you can email us at for any other enquiries.