Fractures & Dislocations

Fractures and dislocations can vary greatly depending on how the injury occurred and how severe the injury is.

Fractures involve a break in the bone while dislocations involve a force that causes a separation of the two bones connected by a joint. A dislocation may or may not include a fracture depending on the type and severity of the injury. 

Symptoms of Fractures & Dislocations

A severe fracture or dislocation will be marked by significant pain and swelling. You may also see some bruising or discoloration of the surrounding area as well, but this is usually delayed and may occur the day after the injury. Moving the injured areas will also result in pain. 

Causes of Fractures & Dislocations

Fractures and dislocations can be caused by any kind of force significant enough to cause the bone to break. This often happens during falls, work related injuries, playing sports, and vehicular accidents. 

Your Treatment Options

Following an x-ray, your surgeon will determine wheter or not your fracture requires repositioning the bones so that they are realigned. This can be done manually (closed) or surgically (open).

If the fracture is able to be repaired without surgery, your hand therapist will fabricate a custom fit brace for a period to help immobilize the affected area and allow the fracture or dislocation to heal properly. Dislocations, once reduced, may be able to be treated with a soft strap or sling to maintain alignment. 

If the fracture or dislocation is displaced significantly surgery may be required. After surgery you will be placed in a custom fit brace to immobilize the affected area. After 4-6 weeks your hand therapist will help you begin light exercises and resistance activities to help encourage you to regain the use of your hand and arm function.