Wrist fractures occur when any of the bones in the wrist or forearm experience blunt force or direct trauma, causing the bones to break. Our wrists are comprised of eight bones, including two bones from our forearms. These bones allow us to straighten, bend, and move our wrists from side-to-side. Falls onto outstretched hands typically result in a wrist fracture. Wrist fractures can also occur from osteoarthritis, or a degenerative disease that causes our joints to break down with time.
There are several types of wrist fractures, including Olle’s fracture (broken radius causing the wrist to bend upward), Smith’s fracture (broken radius causing the wrist to bend downward), Chauffer’s fracture (broken styloid, which is part of the radius bone), Galeazzi’s fracture (broken radius with dislocated ulna bone), and Monteggia’s fracture (broken ulna with dislocated radius bone). All of these wrist fractures have common symptoms, including an inability to move the wrist, localized pain, bruising, and swelling.