Wrist Fracture

A broken wrist is a fracture of any of the bones which make up the wrist joint.

  • Sudden pain in the wrist.
  • Rapid swelling.
  • Your wrist may appear deformed.
  • Pain is likely to increase when trying to move your hand.
  • If tingling or numbness are felt anywhere in the hand or fingers this may indicate nerve damage.


The most common type of fracture of the wrist joint is a break in the radius bone, known as a distal radius fracture. In fact, a distal radius fracture is often synonymous with the term “broken wrist”.

The wrist is a complicated joint that contains many bones,so there is potential for several different types of fractures

Types Of Fractures

Barton’s Fracture

A Barton’s fracture is a distal radius fracture with the addition of a dislocation in the radiocarpal joint between the forearm and the wrist.

Chauffer’s Fracture (Radial Styloid Fracture)

The radial styloid is the bulge at the end of the radius bone, close to the base of the thumb. The fracture is usually caused by a direct blow to the radius—in fact, it is named chauffer’s fracture because a wrist strike from the handcrank on early cars would often cause this fracture

Ulnar Styloid Fracture

Running parallel to the radius is a smaller forearm bone, the ulna. It also has a bulge at the end of the bone known as the styloid. The ulnar styloid is the bump that can be seen on the outside of the wrist. This fracture often occurs in conjunction with a distal radius fracture as the result of a fall.

Smith’s Fracture

A Smith’s fracture is a break at the end of the radius bone. The fragment of fractured bone is displaced forwards to the palm side of the wrist

Triquetral Fracture

A Triquetral Fracture is a break of the Triquetral bone (sometimes called triquetrum). The Triquetral is the second most commonly fractured carpal bone, behind the Scaphoid.

Scaphoid Fracture

A Scaphoid fracture is probably the most common wrist fracture and involves a break to one of the small carpal bones in the wrist called the scaphoid

Hook of Hamate Fracture

Another type of wrist fracture is a fractured hook of hamate. This is a fracture of the hamate bone on the little finger side of the wrist.


Where there is minor displacement, a closed reduction may be performed, which is where the Doctor manipulates the arm until the bones align.

In more complicated cases where the bones are considerably displaced, or the fragment is in two or more pieces surgery may be required. The surgeon will realign the fragments and use pins or wires to hold them in place.

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