Your Good Health Update: Despite therapy, woman’s wrist, hand stiff after fracture

In response to an article written by Time Colonist. Dr Keith Roach.

Consultant Hand Surgeon Shyamalan (Shyam) had further advice for the patient

Dear Dr. Roach: I read with interest the story of a 63-year-old woman who broke her wrist back in June.

I’m a consultant hand surgeon in the Midlands. U.K. and this is how I would approach an answer;

A fracture is a break in bone complicated by a soft tissue injury. Those soft tissues being skin, ligaments, nerves etc. The fracture must have been significant enough to need surgery to align the bones in the correct anatomy but the soft tissues still have to heal. You are correct, in that, a lot of these fracture are of soft osteoporotic bone. Functionally these fractures do quite well and are very common.

The continued stiffness can be due to the scarring around the joint and indeed the metal plates themselves. However stiffness is unfortunately not uncommon and may take many months to resolve and sometimes this may be permanent. After wrist fractures also chronic regional pain syndrome may happen. This is pain, swelling, stiffness and skin changes and can last for a couple of years and sometimes requires intensive therapy and pain intervention.

The injection is a minimally invasive treatment that may help, but not in this case. I actually think removal of the metal work and arthroscopic scar release (key hole) may improve matters, based on the fact her anatomy is normal and her regional pain is controlled.

Shyamalan is our expert!

Posted: admin-sham