- Colles & Wrist Fractures
A Colles fracture is the breakage of the radius bone of the forearm, just above the wrist. It accounts for around a quarter of all broken limbs and is quite commonly broken following a fall on an outstretched hand.
While you are in plaster it is important to follow the guidance of the medical team looking after you, the physiotherapy can start when the plaster is removed between 4 and 6 weeks.
It is often very frightening when the plaster is removed, and you find your wrist is swollen. It can sometimes show a “dinner fork deformity” and it can be incredibly painful to move. This is quite normal but if you are anxious or having difficulty getting your movement back then you can start physiotherapy straight away.
It is very safe for us to help you move and loosen your wrist as the fracture will be stable.
Your physio will help you to regain the movement in your wrist and hand by careful joint mobilisation. Progressive exercises for both range of movement and strength enable more pain-free activities and better function. Like other painful conditions, there is plenty we can do to settle the pain down.
- Duputyrens Contracture
A condition which affects the hands causing one or more fingers, or thumbs, to bend into the palm of the hand. It is not normally painful, but the thickening can progress causing a severe contracture or inability to straighten the digit. It is a common condition often occurring later in life with men more affected than women.
In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the shortened tissue. Treatment can vary depending on your surgeon, however specialised hand physiotherapy is essential to help regain full movement with a splint made to measure if appropriate. All of this can be done here, by Kerris Clark at the Physiotherapy Clinic who is a specialist in hand therapy.
- Carpal Tunnel
This condition is caused by pressure on a nerve at the wrist joint level. Carpal Tunnel produces pain around the wrist and/or hand, and can include a variety of other symptoms including:
- Pins and needles – particularly in the thumb, index and mid finger
- Numbness – in the same region
- Dryness of the skin
- Weakness of the hand
One or both hands can be affected, the symptoms are typically worst at night. Some women suffer in pregnancy due to hormone changes. Why some people are more susceptible is unknown.
A thorough physiotherapy assessment can confirm a diagnosis, or highlight problems arising from your neck which may be contributing to the pain and treat accordingly.
A splint may be required to be worn particularly at night and local taping can help over the small wrist bones to help maintain a good position. In more severe cases, a referral to a hand surgeon may be advised with a view to administer steroid injections, nerve conduction tests or an operation to release the pressure on the nerve.