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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Wrist Fracture
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Wrist Fracture

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A wrist fracture is a break in one of the bones of the wrist. The wrist joint lies where the two bones of the forearm join the small bones of the hand. The wrist joint normally bends forward and extends backward. A significant amount of force in any one of these directions can cause these bones to break.

What are the causes and risks of the injury?

A bone fracture occurs when the force against a bone is greater than the strength of the bone. Common causes of wrist fractures include:

  • direct blow to the wrist, such as a sports injury
  • falling onto an outstretched hand
  • an injury that causes the wrist to bend sharply backward
  • Factors that increase a person's risk of bone fracture include:

  • cancers affecting the bone
  • diet low in calcium or vitamin D
  • eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
  • excess alcohol intake
  • family history of osteoporosis
  • medicines such as corticosteroids, certain medicines for seizures, and some medicines used for high blood pressure
  • hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which the parathyroid gland makes too much parathyroid hormone
  • hyperthyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone
  • hypogonadism, a condition in which the ovaries in women or testes in men do not function normally
  • menopause or surgical removal of the ovaries
  • normal aging, which causes the bones to become more brittle
  • osteoporosis, or excess bone thinning that results from loss of calcium in the bone
  • physical abuse, including child abuse, elder abuse, and spousal abuse
  • rheumatoid arthritis, a condition in which the body attacks its own joint tissue
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • smoking


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    Wrist Fracture: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: John A.K. Davies, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 06/04/01

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