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Provider wrapping patient's hand and wrist with a bandage

With a specialized focus on trauma and fracture care, the Penn Integrated Hand Program offers a collaborative approach to hand and wrist fractures that is unparalleled in the Philadelphia region. Penn orthopaedic and plastic surgeons see patients as soon as possible to evaluate the severity of the fracture and get started on treatment. 

Treatment for Hand and Wrist Fracture and Traumatic Injury

Our multidisciplinary team at the Penn Integrated Hand Program has the expertise and experience to treat every type of fracture and traumatic injury of the hand and wrist — no matter how complex. Our highly skilled surgeons are able to treat hand and wrist injuries that require multiple types of surgeries at the same time, including replantation of limbs and fingers and specialized microvascular procedures to repair bones and soft tissues.

When you have a fractured hand and/or wrist, there are many factors to consider, such as the nature of your fracture and your age and activity level. We will describe the options that are right for you, and, with your input, make the best recommendation.

Non-surgical Treatment for Hand Fracture and Wrist Fracture

Some fractures, like distal radius fractures (before the wrist), can be treated without surgery if the bone fragments are minimally displaced and remain in close connection. In these cases, our surgeons will recommend immobilizing the hand with a splint or cast. We’ll monitor healing over time and adjust care as needed.

Hand Fracture and Wrist Fracture Surgery

If a fracture extends into the wrist joint or is out of place, our surgeons may recommend fixation of the wrist.

Fixation is usually done by using a small plate and screws.

In some cases, if the bony fragments are too small to fix individually, a plate may be used to span the wrist and keep the wrist immobile for approximately three months. The plate will be removed once the bone has healed and a second surgery will be performed to complete repair.

Our surgeons offer highly specialized treatments for the full spectrum of fractures. We provide an aggressive, multidisciplinary approach to help patients with fractured bones recover and regain function of their hand and wrist.

Pain Management After Surgery

Penn Orthopaedics has been ahead of the curve in our approach to managing opioid usage.

We use a standardized post-operative pain protocol called the Multi-modal Perioperative Pain Protocol, or MP3, which uses many different types of pain medications in an effort to minimize the amount of opiate medications. We focus on relieving your pain while keeping you free of dependence.

What is a distal radius fracture?

The most common fracture to the hand and wrist is the distal radius fracture, the bone nearest to the wrist. In many cases, people break their wrists by falling and catching themselves with their hands. Broken wrists can also occur in car accidents and in older adults with osteoporosis.

If you’ve broken your wrist and suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll need to be seen as quickly as possible, so we can alleviate pressure on certain nerves in the hand that can cause pain and immobility. Our specialists will see you immediately to ensure that you maintain function and don’t lose any mobility in your hand and wrist.

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