Should my wrist still hurt?
March 23, 2020 6:55 AM   Subscribe

In a poorly timed accident, I broke my wrist as the pandemic set in. Should it still hurt? I fractured my wrist in 2 places on 3/12. Was a bit out of place, so the Orthopedist put it back in place and casted it on 3/14.

I'm here in corona central NYC, and the next appt to see the dr was cancelled (was to be 3/29) - goal of that one is for progress and if it needs surgery, or not. Which is fine, the result of corona, working on getting another appt scheduled.

But in worst case scenario, I dont get an appt for a long time - so far the admins have blown me off on the phone.

So i don't think Ill get any dr advice now, and I'm just a bit worried b/c its still sore. Not horribly painful, but achy enough to want to take the max strength ibuprofen. And not really feeling better than when it was set. I generally am not using it but have a couple times without thinking, and thats when it gets sore.

Is that normal at this point? If not, should i push the office harder to get an appt or over the phone advice?
Thanks for any insights.
posted by RajahKing to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Based on my experience (I've had 3 broken wrists), that doesn't seem normal. But it sounds like your break may have been worse than mine. What are the two places that are broken? Two places on your radius, or did you break both the radius and the ulna? What hurts now? Is it the broken places or somewhere else? Mine were all distal radius fractures and, interestingly, I found that most of the pain I experienced after the cast was on came from the ulnar side of my wrist, not the broken radius. Apparently it's not uncommon for a broken radius to result in ulnar-sided pain. If the pain is coming from the broken bone, I'd say that's more worrying than if it's coming from an area without a break. Or at least, your doctor would probably be more concerned about that. I found that the ulnar-sided pain was longer lasting and more disabling than the actual broken bone and apparently that is not uncommon, but doctors were not particularly concerned about it.
posted by Redstart at 7:10 AM on March 23, 2020

Best answer: Yes, it's normal for it to hurt after use.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:28 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

It's hard to be sure I understand what you're describing. Does it hurt most of the time, or have there just been a couple of times when you accidentally used it and then it hurt for a short time afterwards? In what way did you use it? I was assuming at first that it hurt enough for painkillers most of the time, but I see now that I could have misunderstood. With my broken wrists, if I accidentally put a little pressure on the arm or reflexively tried to grab something as it fell, I would have pain, but it never lasted long enough to make me use painkillers. If the only time you feel pain is right after you use the broken arm, so most days you feel no pain, that does sound like it could be normal.
posted by Redstart at 7:39 AM on March 23, 2020

If your only route is trying to make a new appointment, I'd make sure to mention any discomfort (clearly and calmly) so that they can judge.

I had a distal radial fracture (Colles fracture) which needed surgery and was pretty gnarly, and I was in an achy state for weeks with nauseating pain whenever I accidentally used it or put any pressure on it (but vastly less sore than before the surgery, 12 hours after the accident). By week 3 or 4, I could use the fingers without huge pain but nothing involving the wrist or any pressue. Anecdata isn't worth much without a doctor assessing your injury and x-rays, but it does seem relatively normal for a fracture to at least hurt after accidental pressure.
posted by carbide at 8:00 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

In my experience (five fractures, three casts, but never the wrist) the cast hurts. Especially when it's new, because the area may still be swollen; and maybe not at all the last week, when they finally cut the damn thing off (because your muscles atrophy, inside, making more space). My last one (on my hand) hurt a lot, because as it set (so quickly, nowadays) the nurse-technician pushed down on one spot to ensure the bone there set correctly - youch!
posted by Rash at 8:35 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I generally am not using it but have a couple times without thinking, and thats when it gets sore.

Is that normal at this point?

Completely normal. It hurts because it's telling you "Fuck you! I'm not even half way to knitting this shit back together and you try to pull it to bits again? Don't do that!"

Wrists are just slow. Piss-poor design on the blood supply in those things.
posted by flabdablet at 9:01 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Am *I* the vulnerable population?   |   Best of the Brand X oxygen concentrators? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.